Log In | Customer Support   
Home Book Travel Destinations Hotels Cruises Air Travel Community Search:  
Search

Search CruisePage

Book a Cruise
 - CruiseServer
 - Search Caribbean
 - Search Alaska
 - Search Europe
 - 888.700.TRIP

Book Online
Cruise
Air
Hotel
Car
Cruising Area:

Departure Date:
Cruise Length:

Price Range:

Cruise Line:

Forums
 >  Cruise Talk
 >  Rail Talk
 >  Air Talk
 >  Destination Talk
 >  Hotel Talk

Buy Stuff

Reviews
 - Ship Reviews
 - Dream Cruise
 - Ship of the Month
 - Reader Reviews
 - Submit a Review
 - Millennium Cruise

Community
 - Photo Gallery
 - Join Cruise Club
 - Cruise News
 - Cruise News Archive
 - Cruise Views
 - Cruise Jobs
 - Special Needs
 - Maritime Q & A
 - Sea Stories

Industry
 - New Ship Guide
 - Former Ships
 - Port Information
 - Inspection Scores
 - Shipyards
 - Ship Cams
 - Freighter Travel
 - Man Overboard List
 - Potpourri

Shopping
 - Shirts & Hats
 - Books
 - Videos
 - Reservations
 - Vacation Specials
 - Web Deals

Contact Us
 - Reservations
 - Mail
 - Feedback
 - Suggest-a-Site
 - About Us


   Cruise Travel - Cruise News

Cruise Club is a free service, and when you join, you will begin receiving weekly updates including the latest cruise news and cruise specialsWelcome to this week's edition of Cruise News, the best place on the Web to find up-to-date information about cruises. To automatically receive Cruise News via email each week, join our Cruise Club.

For up to the minute news, stop by Cruise Talk anytime to post a message or find out what your fellow passengers and industry insiders are saying about a particular ship, cruise line or destination.


Cruise News - July 15, 2019

Carnival Cruise Line To Operate Largest Bermuda Season Ever
Carnival Cruise Line will operate its largest Bermuda season ever in 2019-2020, with more than 40 voyages visiting the nation, including eight week-long cruises departing from Baltimore and Charleston next year.

In total, six different Carnival ships – Carnival Breeze, Magic, Pride, Radiance, Sunshine and Sunrise – will offer four- to nine-day Bermuda cruises from five homeports along the eastern seaboard between now and next year.

Carnival is the only cruise operator to offer round-trip Bermuda cruises from Charleston, Port Canaveral and Fort Lauderdale. Nine-day Bermuda departures have also been added to the New York-based schedules of the totally transformed Carnival Sunrise and Carnival Radiance that include four-day cruises to the island as well.

Carnival's diverse Bermuda schedule not only encompasses a wide range of cruise durations and homeports but also a variety of ship sizes and amenities, providing consumers with unprecedented opportunities to visit the popular destination.

"Guest feedback on our Bermuda program has been nothing short of sensational and we're delighted to expand our offerings to provide even more guests an opportunity to experience all this tropical island paradise has to offer," said Fred Stein, Carnival's vice president of revenue planning and deployment.

The seven week-long cruises to Bermuda from Baltimore will be offered aboard Carnival Pride and spend three days in Bermuda, while a seven-day cruise from Charleston aboard Carnival Sunshine will feature two days on the island along with a visit to the private Bahamian destination of Princess Cays. Baltimore departure dates include May 31, Aug. 2 and 23, Sept. 6 and 20, and Oct. 4 and 18, 2020. The cruise from Charleston departs Oct. 17, 2020.

While in Bermuda, guests can relax on the island's legendary pink beaches, enjoy snorkeling, kayaking and other water sports, and visit historical landmarks such as Royal Naval Dockyard and Gibb's Hill Lighthouse, the oldest cast iron lighthouse in the Western Hemisphere. Numerous shopping, dining and golfing experiences are also available.

Princess Cruises Announces Escape Room Experience
Cruise guests ready to travel through time and space need to look no further than Princess Cruises newest ships – Sky Princess and Enchanted Princess – to experience Phantom Bridge, a world's first game combining digital and physical elements for the ultimate immersive escape room.

"Phantom Bridge, our newest Discovery at SEA interactive attraction, will offer our guests the exclusive opportunity to live a real-world, gamified experience with more than 700 different outcomes for the ultimate adventure," said Denise Saviss, Princess Cruises vice president of entertainment experience. "Partnering with Farbound to deliver this unprecedented technology and world's first interactive Mediascape Room further solidifies our commitment to share innovative and distinctive offerings to our guests."

On the Phantom Bridge, Princess Cruises guests will face immersive environments and show moments as they race to solve puzzles and travel to endangered time periods. The entire ship will transform and respond to guest actions, enveloping them in the story. Developed exclusively for Princess Cruises by Farbound, the leader in gamified real-life experiences, the debut of Phantom Bridge will feature the first Mediascape™ Room, the proprietary gaming and show-control system that runs the entire game play.

"As Princess Cruises is committed to delivering a completely different and memorable experience for its guests, we are so honored to be working with them as Farbound's partner. This new class of entertainment offerings will strengthen and hold Princess Cruises position as the leader in the travel industry," said Tim Rheault & Steve Trowbridge, Co-Founders of Farbound.

Phantom Bridge offers a range of activities including:

Uncover the clues to solve the mystery – projection mapping, touch screen surfaces and hidden physical elements bring the environment to life as players race to uncover new clues and solve puzzles that will transport them to the next endangered time period.

Blends the physical with the digital with immersive effects – players captain the ship and turn the physical wheel to navigate the vessel and watch as the simulation view changes. Lighting, sound and digital features disguised as physical ones are combined to create an immersive, realistic experience, every step of the way. But, players beware as they'll never know when a new item could mysteriously appear and be the key to the next puzzle.

Families can play together! – Phantom Bridge tailors the experience to players of all ages, heights and physical abilities so parents, kids and grandparents can all play together. Plus, with so many levels, time periods and puzzles more than 700 different outcomes are possible, which means players can come back and engage in Phantom Bridge time and time again since it's never the same adventure.

Phantom Bridge will also debut onboard the cruise line's next ship, Enchanted Princess, summer 2020. Guests can try Phantom Bridge in the new Experience Center located on deck 18. The event lasts 23 minutes and can accommodate up to six people.

For families looking for immersive, enriching and fun experiences while traveling, Princess Cruises has partnered with Discovery Inc. to create Discovery at SEA onboard programming that brings to life destinations and fan-favorite Discovery and Animal Planet shows. Guests can choose from exclusive, family friendly shore excursions and onboard activities like Stargazing at Sea. Younger cruisers, 17 and under, will also enjoy the recently renovated Camp Discovery Youth & Teen Centers.

New, Amplified Adventures On Royal Caribbean's Allure of the Seas To Make A Summer Splash In Europe
Travelers can soon take in Europe's historic destinations from a bold, new perspective on board the amplified Allure of the Seas. Royal Caribbean International has revealed the signature feats and innovative experiences coming to the renowned Oasis Class ship as part of a 58-day, $165 million transformation. Guests will be able to conquer a continent's worth of adventures and come back for more with Allure's upcoming lineup of new features, including the Ultimate Abyss, the tallest slide at sea; The Perfect Storm trio of waterslides, completely redesigned Adventure Ocean kids and teens spaces, the first Giovanni's Italian Kitchen & Wine Bar, and Quantum Class original Music Hall. Reimagined as the ultimate summer vacation in Europe, Allure will open its season of 7-night Western Mediterranean cruises from homeport Barcelona, Spain on May 10, 2020.

Whether the moment calls for thrills or relaxation, vacationers sailing on the amplified Allure of the Seas can test their courage or sit back at the Pool and Sports Zone neighborhood that will now tout the perfect family day out. Feature highlights include:

• The 10-story Ultimate Abyss, the tallest slide at sea

• The Perfect Storm trio of waterslides, Typhoon, Cyclone and Supercell

• Splashaway Bay kids aquapark, featuring twin drench buckets, three waterslides, fountains, pools, water cannons and a Splash Pad for tots

• Reimagined pool deck, complete with The Lime & Coconut signature bar across two locations, a wider variety of seating and shade with cabana-like "casitas," daybeds, hammocks and swing seats; new whirlpools on the top deck, and a reinvigorated, adults-only Solarium

The thrill will go from the outside-in on board the amped-up Allure. Expanding on the ways that families can spend time together and on their own are the additions of completely reimagined, dedicated spaces for babies, kids and teens, and popular Royal Caribbean activities.

• All-new Adventure Ocean, where younger kids can choose their own immersive adventures across an entirely new layout. The major makeover will bring to life interactive, personalized and unexpected activities and features in areas redesigned from top to bottom, including whimsical rooms with climbable creations at Play Place, hands-on art, science and tech fun at Workshop; friendly competition in physical, interactive games at Arena; the Hangout, to chill and make new friends over gaming consoles or sit back for some quality "me" time, AO Babies for babies and tots, and experiential activities at the multipurpose AO Junior space specially designed for 3- to 5-year-olds

• Maxed-out teen spaces, debuting a 360-degree transformation, with a secret speakeasy-like entrance leading into an exclusive lounge with gaming consoles, music, movies, places to hang out and a new outdoor deck

• Glow-in-the-dark laser tag in Clash for the Crystal City and Royal Escape Room – Apollo 18: Lunar Landing, an out-of-this-world expedition that challenges guests to solve puzzle after puzzle before time runs out

A World of Flavors

Allure will deliver an array of culinary possibilities with more restaurants, casual spots and bars joining the already-diverse offering of specialty and complimentary options.

• Giovanni's Italian Kitchen & Wine Bar, a new take on a guest-favorite, will offer the beloved family-style, rustic dining experience with an enhanced menu of Italian staples, complete with hand-tossed pizza from the new in-house pizza oven, an expansive charcuterie station and a wide selection of wines and limoncellos

• Portside BBQ will serve up a menu inspired by popular barbecue styles across the United States, including brisket, pulled pork, chicken, burnt ends, mac and cheese, homestyle cornbread and more Playmakers Sports Bar & Arcade for gameday watch parties on big-screen TVs, tournaments, bar bites with a twist and ice-cold brews

• El Loco Fresh, featuring casual Mexican "street fare"

• Sugar Beach, the sweetest spot on board with more than 220 types of candy and ice cream Bionic Bar by Makr Shakr, manned by two robot bartenders shaking up classic cocktails and custom orders

Amped-Up Hotspots

After a day of exploring iconic destinations and channeling their inner adventurer, guests can go out for a "night on the town" and find new venues added to the nightlife offered on board.

• Music Hall, a Quantum Class favorite, will take live music to the next level with revolving setlists and cover bands, ample lounge seating on two levels and room to rock out on the dance floor

• Spotlight Karaoke, the dedicated karaoke bar with both main stage and private room experiences will feature thousands of songs to choose from, music trivia and themed nights

Beginning May 2020, Allure of the Seas' 7-night Western Mediterranean cruises sailing roundtrip from Barcelona will visit must-see cities such as Palma de Mallorca, Spain; Provence (Marseille), France; Florence/Pisa (La Spezia), Rome (Civitavecchia) and Naples/Capri, Italy.

Allure joins the original gamechanger, Oasis of the Seas, as the second Oasis Class ship to be reimagined in the $1 billion Royal Amplified fleet modernization program. These two revolutionary ships will steal the spotlight next year in Europe and the New York area, respectively, as the boldest summer vacations on both sides of the Atlantic.

In November 2020, Allure will make its way coast to coast to Miami for the winter season. Sailing from Royal Caribbean's state-of-the-art Terminal A, the reimagined ship will offer 7-night Eastern and Western Caribbean cruises. Many of the ship's Caribbean itineraries will include visits to the cruise line's new private island destination in The Bahamas, Perfect Day at CocoCay.

Princess Cruises Launches Local Connections: Alaska
New for the 2019 season and celebrating the cruise line's 50th year sailing in Alaska, Princess Cruises has partnered with a team of local experts in Alaska to give guests even more exclusive and authentic experiences ashore as part of the cruise line's award-winning Local Connections program.

"Local Connections in Alaska was designed to connect our guests with the people of the destination, and offer them interactive experiences with local chefs, artists and expert guides," said Bruce Krumrine, Princess Cruises vice president of shore excursions. "With 50 years of experience sailing to the Great Land, we know the type of shore excursions our guests desire. From cooking with an Alaskan Chef to axe throwing with Lumberjacks, we know they'll love every authentic experience and create long-lasting memories."

With a total of 15 featured shore excursions in four Alaska ports, Princess Cruises has partnered with well-known chefs, artists, wildlife experts, seafaring captains and much more. Examples include:

• Icy Strait Point - Cooking in Alaska's Wildest Kitchen with Alaskan Chef: Learn to prepare wild, natural and sustainable Alaska seafood in a hands-on tasting session hosted by wilderness chef Dodie Lunda. Living on a floathouse for 23 years in remote Alaska made her a creative and accomplished cook.

• Juneau - Culinary Demonstration with Alaskan Chef: Winner of 2017's Great American Seafood Cook-Off, Chef Lionel Uddipa takes local Alaska flavors and ingredients and updates them with modern flair. During the one-hour cooking lesson you can witness the exquisite creations of this inspiring chef and artist as he shares how evolving and creative cooking can be used with Alaska's bounty of fresh seafood.

• Ketchikan - Ketchikan Photo Safari with Nature Photographer: Photographers and outdoor enthusiasts will thrill to an excursion designed for the novice, as well as the professional. Led by one of three local photographers, your guide will share area history, facts and stories as you travel from six to eight different sites in a Ford transit passenger van through town and into the wild.

• Skagway - Ghosts & Goodtime Girls Walking Tour Created by Madam Jan: Learn about the strong and courageous women of the past as you hear stories from Red Onion Saloon owner and "head madam," Jan Wrentmore. This excursion celebrates their enterprising spirit.

Other Alaska Local Connections shore excursions include:

Juneau
Whale Watching & Wildlife Quest Created by the Allen Family
Discover Alaska's Whales – A Small-Group Experience Created by Alaskan Captain
Whale Watching & Mendenhall Glacier Photo Safari Designed by Alaskan Photographer

Ketchikan
Great Alaskan Lumberjack Show & Axe Throwing Challenge Created by Champion Ironjack
Bering Sea Crab Fishermen's Tour Created by Captain David Lethin
Ketchikan Pub Walk Created by Bar Historian

Skagway
Skagway Street Car City Tour with Storyteller
White Pass Rail Bennett Lake & Yukon Adventure Created by Train Historian
Hands-On Kitchen Science with Alaskan Chef
Golden Glassblowing Experience at Jewell Gardens Designed by Glass Artist P

rincess Cruises has an expansive offering of Alaska cruise and cruisetour vacations on sale now. Guests who have booked Princess Cruises to Alaska can pre-reserve Local Connections Shore Excursions online for each port their itinerary visits, or on board with a knowledgeable Shore Excursion team member.

Carnival Cruise Line Partners with Clean the World to Assist in Global Soap Recycling Initiative
Today, Carnival Cruise Line announced it is the first large-scale cruise operator to partner with Clean the World. Through this global sustainability program, nearly 40 tons of discarded soap will be collected each year to be recycled into new soap bars and distributed to vulnerable communities worldwide.

Clean the World is a global health leader in WASH (water, sanitation, and hygiene) and sustainability dedicated to saving lives by recycling and distributing soap and other hygiene products to more than 127 countries.

As part of the program, Carnival will start collecting discarded soap from guest and crew staterooms throughout the fleet and send it to a Clean the World recycling center where the soap will be sanitized, melted down and reprocessed. Together, Carnival and Clean the World will distribute more than 400,000 new, clean bars of soap to people in need across the globe each year. The new program has already been tested on several of Carnival's ships and will be rolled out across its entire North American fleet by the end of July. It is one of multiple initiatives underway to further reduce waste disposal and recycle additional products used on board.

Through its partnership with Carnival, Clean the World will be able to expand its existing recycling program to locations throughout the Bahamas, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Bermuda and Central America, providing life-saving hygiene services to residents in these areas as well as further support its WASH programming in the Dominican Republic.

"We're proud and honored to be the first large-scale cruise line to partner with Clean the World, an organization dedicated to improving the lives of those in underprivileged communities throughout the world," said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. "Carnival guests use more than three million bars of soap each year. With this partnership, we'll positively impact the lives of so many people who will have access to a basic hygiene product that so many of us take for granted."

"We rely on partners to help us deliver much-needed hygiene supplies to children and families in the Caribbean, Puerto Rico, and South America, which are among the areas most in need of this support," says Shawn Seipler, founder and chief executive officer, Clean the World. "This incredible partnership with Carnival Cruise Line allows us to expand our outreach, putting more soap into the hands of people in need. We hope that this program will continue to grow in the future."

Clean the World has contributed to a 60 percent reduction in the death rate of young children worldwide.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 46.95 + 1.14%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 112.85 - 0.86%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 1.02 - 0.97%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 50.36 + 0.22%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Only two four-stack ships were built for service on a route other than the North Atlantic. Name either of these ships and the route they were built for?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Here's one from a 1967 booklet put out by the Trans-Atlantic Passenger Steamship Conference - What is the name of the small rope, tied to the end of a hawser on a ship. The rope is is thrown ashore, and by it, one end of the hawser is hauled to the pier.

Answer - The small rope used to retrieve main" hawsers",when docking is called a "heaving" line.
courtesy of Bill Richards, Highlands, NJ


Cruise News - July 8, 2019

Carnival Corporation to Significantly Reduce Single-Use Plastics by End of 2021
Carnival Corporation & plc today announced that it will significantly eliminate its purchase and consumption of non-essential single-use plastics by the end of 2021. The effort to dramatically reduce single-use plastics across its nine global cruise line brands is part of an expansion of Operation Oceans Alive, the corporation's program to further its ongoing commitment to achieve and sustain environmental compliance and excellence.

Carnival Corporation and its cruise line brands already have plans under way, including initiatives to reduce or eliminate plastic straws, cups, lids, and bags, among other single-use items. The brands are also working to potentially eliminate individual servings of select packaged food items and other single-use plastics or decorative items used in food and beverage service as well as in staterooms.

The company is immediately focusing on reducing single-use plastic items not used for sanitary or public health-related purposes. As part of the company's stringent Health, Environment, Safety and Security (HESS) Policy and to comply with national and international regulations governing cruise ship operations, there are some single-use plastic items that cannot be completely eliminated, including plastic trash can liners in common areas and sanitary gloves, among others.

"We recognize that to be a responsible global organization, a good corporate citizen and the environmental leader our guests expect us to be, we need to continue to take proactive measures to ensure sustainability is ingrained in all aspects of our operation across our nine global cruise brands," said Bill Burke, chief maritime officer for Carnival Corporation. "Our Operation Oceans Alive platform and this initiative to dramatically reduce single-use plastics across our global fleet are just some of the ways we are committed to continuously enhancing our operations and focus on environmental compliance and excellence. Along with the support of our more than 120,000 dedicated employees, most of whom live and work at sea, we will do our part to preserve and protect the oceans, seas and destinations we visit around the world."

Added Burke: "We know our guests share our commitment to protecting the world we live in, and we appreciate their support as we continue our ongoing efforts to be proactive stewards, ambassadors and guardians of our environment."

Underscoring Carnival Corporation's long-term goal to achieve and sustain environmental compliance and excellence, these efforts are part of the company's expanding Operation Oceans Alive program, which promotes a culture of transparency, learning and commitment across its global operations.

Introduced in January 2018, Carnival Corporation launched Operation Oceans Alive as an internal effort and call to action to further ensure all employees receive proper education, training and oversight, while continuing the company-wide commitment to protecting the oceans, seas and destinations in which it operates.

In the program's first year, the corporation continued to implement innovative technology solutions for sustainability, accelerate environmental training efforts and improve communications to achieve a higher level of environmental awareness and a culture of environmental stewardship. The initiative is now being expanded externally as the platform for the corporation's commitment to achieving and sustaining environmental compliance, excellence and leadership, and will continue to expand through an increase in funding, staffing and responsibility.

Operation Oceans Alive and the company's plan to dramatically reduce single-use plastics are among a series of ongoing efforts designed to further strengthen the company's commitment to sustainability and environmental responsibility, as outlined in its 2020 Sustainability Goals.

In 2018, the company announced it achieved its 25% carbon reduction goal three years ahead of schedule, and it is on track with its nine other 2020 sustainability targets for reducing its environmental footprint, while enhancing the health, safety and security of its guests and crew members, and ensuring sustainable business practices among its nine cruise line brands, business partners and suppliers.

These efforts and others support Carnival Corporation's long-term commitment to sustainability, responsible operations and protecting the environment, and are an important part of the company's supervised terms of probation, which include initiatives such as reducing single-use plastics, and environmental compliance plan, which includes initiatives such as organizational and structural improvements to teams, equipment and procedures.

Princess Cruises Announces 2020-2021 South America & Antarctica Program
South America and Antarctica continue to lure travelers from around the world, and with Princess Cruises' 2020-2021 program, guests can discover this region of the world with unique cruising opportunities. New for 2020-2021, guests will be offered the opportunity to see the Total Solar Eclipse off the coast of Argentina on Dec. 14, 2020 during the 15-day Cape Horn & Strait of Magellan itinerary on Coral Princess. Cruises are now on sale.

"We make traveling to the bucket-list destinations of South America & Antarctica easy for our guests, while offering unique opportunities to explore this culturally rich and beautiful region," said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises president. "All of our Antarctica and Cape Horn cruises include four days of Antarctic Peninsula scenic cruising, immersing guests in the best of the stunning ice-bound destination."

South America & Antarctica 2020-2021 itinerary highlights include:

• Two ships – Coral Princess and Pacific Princess – sailing to 35 destinations in 17 countries on 8 unique itineraries.

• Coral Princess sails to Antarctica and South America, including a 15-day Cape Horn & Strait of Magellan cruise with the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see the Total Solar Eclipse off the coast of Argentina on Dec. 14, 2020.

• Pacific Princess circumnavigates the continent on a 90-day Circle South America roundtrip from Sydney, Australia, featuring an overnight in Rio de Janeiro during the world-renowned Carnival and calling to off-the-beaten-path destinations like Easter Island and Ilhabela.

• Opportunities to take an overland tour to visit the Galapagos Islands and Machu Picchu on an 18-day Andes & South America cruise.

• Overland tour to visit Iguazu Falls from Buenos Aires on the 17-day Brazillian Adventure itinerary

• More Ashore overnight stays in Lima (Callao), Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro.

Cunard Celebrates Opening of Historic Exhibit on the Queen Mary
Cunard's youngest ship, Queen Elizabeth, met her ancestor, the Queen Mary, in Long Beach harbor to celebrate the July Fourth holiday. During this rare visit, Queen Elizabeth's Captain Inger Thorhauge offered a 'salute' to the historic Queen Mary by sounding her horn, and guests on both vessels were treated to a spectacular fireworks show that evening.

On July 5, 'The Cunard Story' on The Queen Mary was officially dedicated. Captain Thorhauge joined Everette Hoard, Commodore of The Queen Mary, Collette Weston, Deputy Consul General of the British Consulate Los Angeles, and John Jenkins, General Manager, The Queen Mary, for the ribbon-cutting to launch this new exhibition. 'The Cunard Story' on the Queen Mary tells the evolution of the line's remarkable 179-year history and illustrates the legacy of a brand responsible for many innovations seen today in modern day cruising.

'The Cunard Story,' a permanent exhibition, showcases the company's legacy through artifacts, photographs and film, and also features an Immigration Salon allowing visitors to explore the Ellis Island database to learn about the arrival and ships that carried their ancestors to America. Approximately one in five immigrants came through Ellis Island on a Cunard ship at the height of the immigration period during the latter part of the 19th century and early 20th century.

The 2,081-passenger Queen Elizabeth had sailed down from her first season in Alaska and spent an overnight in the Port of Los Angeles on July 4, setting sail south to Mexico on July 5. The ship will transit the Panama Canal, call in New York City, and arrive in Halifax, NS on July 26 to meet her other sister ship, Queen Mary 2, for a celebration in the company's ancestral home.

Norwegian Cruise Line Announces New Immersive 2020 Itineraries
Norwegian Cruise Line announced Norwegian Jade’s Greek Isles and Italy 2020 itineraries, which will feature compelling, wish list destinations including Santorini and Mykonos, Greece and Monte Carlo, Monaco.

The cruise line also announced itineraries on Norwegian Spirit and Norwegian Sun.

Norwegian Spirit

Following a multi-million-dollar, bow-to-stern revitalization in January 2020, Norwegian Spirit will return to Asia for a series of immersive itineraries. From May 9 through December 21, 2020, she will sail a mix of nine-to-15-day voyages showcasing the very best of the region including four new ports of call for the brand. These new ports are Beppu, Kumamoto, Niigata and Nagoya, Japan. Norwegian Spirit will also overnight in Tokyo and Kyoto (Osaka), Japan; Shanghai, China; and Hong Kong. During these unique itineraries, guests will have the chance to witness the historic Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan; view the colorful fall foliage in Taipei,Taiwan; visit the largest temple in Shanghai, the Longhua Temple; walk the Great Wall of China, the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China; or drift down the Love River in Kaohsiung, Taiwan.

Norwegian Sun

Following a three-year hiatus in the region, Norwegian Sun returns to Alaska on May 21, 2020 joining Norwegian Bliss, Joy and Jewel. She will offer the brand’s most extensive itineraries in the area with nine-to-12-day voyages from Seattle with calls to Sitka, Glacier Bay, Hubbard Glacier, Holkham Bay, Juneau and Ketchikan, Alaska; as well as a stop in Victoria, British Columbia. Guests can spend a full day exploring Icy Strait Point, one of the most naturally-beautiful destinations in Alaska, providing a more culturally authentic experience.

In April 2018, Norwegian Sun underwent a three-week bow-to-stern renovation as part of The Norwegian Edge® program, the company’s commitment to elevating the standard of excellence across the fleet. Enhancements were made to every part of the onboard experience. The ship now features refreshed staterooms and public spaces and three new venues including Los Lobos Cantina, Bliss Ultra Lounge and Spinnaker Lounge.

Norwegian Jade

Beginning Sept. 8, 2020, Norwegian Jade will offer a variety of one-way, 10-to-11-day Greek Isles, Italy, and Mediterranean cruises departing or returning from Barcelona, Spain; Venice, Italy; and Athens (Piraeus), Greece, where the company will homeport for the first time. These port-intensive itineraries offer guests two distinct homeports to explore and the chance to discover a new destination every day with calls to Monte Carlo, Monaco; Florence/Pisa (Livorno), Rome (Civitavecchia), Naples and Messina, Italy; Olympia (Katakolon), Santorini, Rhodes and Mykonos, Greece; and Kusadasi, Turkey.

Princess Cruises Announces Return of Pacific Princess to Australia
Princess Cruises has announced Pacific Princess' 2020-2021 summer line-up in Australia, with the boutique ship offering cruisers a number of unique itineraries during its four-month deployment. Prior to arriving in Sydney, Pacific Princess will also sail on an additional 10-day Tahiti voyage due to popular demand of the cruise line's return to this region

Pacific Princess' program will include an epic 90-day roundtrip Sydney voyage around South America, a 13-day cruise to New Zealand and a special 21-day sailing to remote locations in Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands.

"The return of Pacific Princess to Australia for the region's popular summer season marks the first time six Princess ships will be based Down Under, representing one-third of our global fleet," said Jan Swartz Princess Cruises president. "Our growth in this region further cements our position as Australia's leading cruise line, offering nearly 25 percent more capacity for the summer 2020-21 season than any other cruise line."

The December 2020 arrival of the 670-guest Pacific Princess coincides with the 45th anniversary of Princess Cruises' first roundtrip cruise from Australia, a voyage on the original Pacific Princess which served as the iconic backdrop and co-star of the popular TV series "The Love Boat."

New Pacific Princess 2020-21 season highlights include:

• Due to the popularity of the five, 10-day Tahiti voyages previously announced for fall 2020, Pacific Princess will sail an additional 10-day Tahiti & French Polynesia voyage departing on November 24, 2020.This voyage can be combined with a new 16-day South Pacific & New Zealand itinerary sailing from Tahiti (Papeete) to Sydney for a 26-day Tahiti &

• South Pacific Grand Adventure. The 16-day itinerary departs Tahiti (Papeete) on December 4, 2020.

• Pacific Princess' arrival into Sydney coincides with Princess Cruises' 45th Anniversary of sailing from Australia. To commemorate this anniversary, Pacific Princess will sail on a special 13-day New Zealand Connoisseur voyage visiting boutique ports in New Zealand including Stewart Island, Kaikoura and New Plymouth. The voyage also offers special anniversary-themed activities and departs Sydney on December 21, 2020.

• On January 3, 2021, Pacific Princess then sails on a voyage of a lifetime, a 90-day Circle South America voyage, roundtrip from Sydney, which circumnavigates the continent and visits Rio de Janeiro during the famed Carnival festival. Options to sail from Auckland or to Brisbane will also be available. This epic voyage includes 28 destinations in 16 countries including overnights in Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires and Lima (Callao), with maiden calls for the Princess Australian market to Santos, Ilhabela, Natal and Guayaquil.

• To round out her deployment from Australia, Pacific Princess will also offer a new 21-day Papua New Guinea & Solomon Islands itinerary, departing April 3, 2021, with maiden calls to Madang, Wewak and Gizo Island. Following this unique voyage, Pacific Princess sails to Japan on a 24-day Asia & Australia visiting amazing destinations in Taiwan and Japan, including Hualien and Ishigaki.

Silversea To Open Sales For New Silver Origin
Starting on July 16, 2019, travellers will be able to reserve their suites aboard Silversea's new ship, Silver Origin, which has been designed entirely with the Galapagos Islands in mind and will be the most elegant ship to ever sail the region when it launches in summer 2020. The all-suite, 100-guest Silver Origin will embark on her maiden voyage in July 2020, unlocking the authentic beauty of the Galapagos by connecting guests with the destination through immersive experiences.

"Our unique, industry-leading offering in the Galapagos Islands is being enhanced further still for the benefit of our guests," says Roberto Martinoli, Silversea's President and CEO. "From July 16, 2019, we will open sales for Silver Origin, which will enrich guests' experiences with an unprecedented level of elegance and comfort. After admiring endemic species in the wild and exploring the beautiful landscapes of the Galapagos - with the guidance of local experts - guests will continue their discovery of this unique destination on board, through regionally inspired cuisine, informative lectures and various other enhancements."

Silversea's new ultra-luxury ship will continue the award-winning legacy of the retiring Silver Galapagos by alternating two seven-night itineraries between Baltra and San Cristobal, unlocking varying experiences for guests, as follows:

Baltra to San Cristobal
Aboard Silver Origin for Silversea's north central itinerary, guests will enjoy a circumnavigation of Isla Daphne Major and explorations of Darwin Bay and Prince Philip's Steps in Genovesa; Galapaguera Cerro Colorado and Punta Pitt in San Cristobal; Gardner Bay and Punta Suarez in Espanola; El Eden, Charles Darwin Research Station and Puerto Ayora in Santa Cruz; as well as Sullivan Bay, North Seymour, Rabida, and South Plaza. Highlights of this seven-day itinerary include the chance to witness captivating wildlife species in their natural habitats, including and an abundance of marine life through various snorkelling opportunities – potentially near schools of tropical fish, turtles and impressive whitetip reef sharks; and the chance to explore unusual geological features, including lava flows at Sullivan Bay, among other experiences.

San Cristobal to Baltra
Silversea's western itinerary encompasses such points of interest as Cerro Dragon and Las Bachas Beach in Santa Cruz and a circumnavigation of Kicker Rock. The itinerary also includes Punta Vicente Roca, Tagus Cove and Elizabeth Bay in Isabela; Post Office Bay, Champion Islet and Punta Cormorant in Floreana; Los Gemelos, Charles Darwin Research Station and Puerto Ayora in Santa Cruz; Playa Espumilla in Santiago, conditions permitting; Punta Espinoza in Fernandina; and Bartolome Island. Guests travelling westbound with Silversea will witness magnificent geological features, including Kicker Rock and Pinnacle Rock; enjoy a Zodiac ride to Buccaneer's Cove, which once provided a refuge for pirates; and various other unforgettable experiences.

On both itineraries, Silver Origin's guests will spend their days exploring Darwin's "Living Laboratory of Evolution," where they might spot giant tortoises, colourful marine iguanas, comical Blue-footed Boobies, energetic sea lion pups, Flightless Cormorants, Galapagos Hawks and Galapagos Penguins. Expert local naturalists of the highest calibre—one for every ten guests, providing the highest ratio of guides-per-guest in the Galapagos—will share their knowledge and insights, as they lead complimentary excursions. A fleet of eight Zodiac crafts—the largest in the region on a per-guest basis—and kayaks will enhance the adventure with on-water exploration.

In 2020, two special extended voyages are planned for the holiday season: departing December 19, 2020, guests will be able to travel deeper into the destination on an 11-day voyage from San Cristobal to Baltra, while a 12-day New Year's cruise will depart Baltra on December 29, 2020, concluding in San Cristobal.

"The Galapagos Islands are one of the world's greatest pristine wonderlands," said Fernando Delgado, Silversea's Vice President and General Manager of Canodros C.L. "It will be our honour to unlock the authentic beauty of this region for guests, as they journey aboard the environmentally conscious Silver Origin, enjoying the ship's understated elegance and all-inclusive comforts and luxuries."

Thoughtfully crafted to provide superlative comfort, Silver Origin's stylish, butler-serviced suites are among the most spacious in Galapagos cruising. Each features a private veranda or a Horizon Balcony to provide stunning views of the island landscape. Luxury amenities include a minibar stocked with local snacks and a range of soft and alcoholic drinks, in-suite fresh water purification system, large flat-screen television, choice of pillows, eco-friendly bath amenities, plush robes and slippers, 24-hour room service and in-suite dining, unlimited complimentary Wi-Fi, and complimentary expedition gear that includes a waterproof backpack, raincoat and premium metallic water bottle.

Silver Origin's eight suite categories include one Owner's Suite that wraps around the ship's rear section on Deck 6, offering an unrivalled panoramic view. Situated directly below, on Deck 5, are the ship's one Grand Suite and one Royal Suite, which are connecting suites that may be combined into one ideal suite for family and friends travelling together. Rounding out the most spacious accommodation options are two Silver Suites—located forward on Deck 5—each of which can be connected to an adjacent Classic Veranda Suite to accommodate groups. All of these top-tier suites feature a large veranda with comfortable outdoor furniture and floor-to-ceiling glass doors. A first for Silversea, the Owner's, Grand, and Royal suites offer an ocean-view whirlpool bath and separate shower, accessible from the veranda (except in the Grand Suite). The Silver Suites' whirlpool bath and separate shower provide exterior views and can be accessed from the veranda.

The remaining four suite categories include one Medallion Suite, seven Deluxe Veranda Suites, and sixteen Superior Veranda Suites located on Deck 6. These accommodations are most notable for their innovative Horizon Balcony, which converts into an indoor living space with a floor-to-ceiling window. On Deck 5, there are also twenty-two Classic Veranda Suites, each with floor-to-ceiling sliding doors that open onto the veranda. Additionally, they offer third-guest capacity as well as several connecting suites.

With the environment in mind, Silver Origin will feature a dynamic positioning system, which will be used when the ship is positioned over a delicate seabed ecosystems to prevent the anchor from causing damage. Moreover, Silver Origin's guests will be gifted a metallic reusable bottle that will leverage in-suite freshwater purifications system that convert seawater into drinking water, drastically reducing the use of plastic on board. The ship will also meet the highest standards of energy efficiency in the segment.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 46.42 + 0.28%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 111.89 - 5.23%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 1.03 - 0.96%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 50.25 - 4.87%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Here's one from a 1967 booklet put out by the Trans-Atlantic Passenger Steamship Conference - What is the name of the small rope, tied to the end of a hawser on a ship. The rope is is thrown ashore, and by it, one end of the hawser is hauled to the pier.

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Beginning in March of 1989, Cunard's QE2 was out of service for 72 days. Why was she out of service?

Answer - The QE2 was on a 72 day charter to the Port of Yokohama Japan, which ran from March 30, 1989 through June 9, 1989.
courtesy of Larry P Macdonald, Belmont, MA USA


Cruise News - July 1, 2019

Royal Caribbean Orders Third Icon-Class Ship
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. today announced that it has entered into an agreement with shipbuilder Meyer Turku to order a third Icon-class ship for delivery in 2025.

The ship will join its two sister ships – to be delivered in 2022 and 2024, respectively – in Royal Caribbean International's fleet, an industry leader in innovation, clean technology, and breakthrough ship design.

"We are thrilled to announce the newest addition to our Icon-class fleet that affirms our commitment to clean-power technologies at sea," said Richard Fain, Chairman and CEO, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. "We've designed a class of ships powered by liquefied natural gas that leverages the latest, environmentally-friendly applications. We believe that innovative shipbuilding can reduce our carbon footprint and boost energy efficiencies to help to build a cleaner future."

"These are exciting times for Royal Caribbean, and we have an incredible partner in Meyer Turku to bring to life now three vessels of what will be a remarkable class of ships," said Michael Bayley, President and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. "Building on our vision with the addition of a third order is a testament to our confidence in the innovative design and energy-efficient technology and engineering that will, without a doubt, make Icon class a game changer."

"We are very thankful to Royal Caribbean for their confidence in the Icon ship design and our ability to build such an exceptional ship even before the first Icon is delivered," said Jan Meyer, CEO, Meyer Turku.

This order is contingent upon financing.

Carnival Vista’s Propulsion System to be Repaired Using First-Of-Its-Kind ‘Floating Dry Dock’
Carnival Cruise Line announced today that Netherlands-based Boskalis, a worldwide leader in marine solutions, will deploy a transport vessel as a first of its kind “floating dry dock” facility to complete the repairs to Carnival Vista’s two azipods, the ship’s main propulsion system. The procedure will entail loading the ship onto a semi-submersible heavy transport vessel, Boka Vanguard, and then docking the vessel at the Grand Bahama shipyard for the repair work.

A video animation detailing the “floating dry dock” process can be viewed here www.vimeo.com/boskalis/vista.

“This groundbreaking procedure made possible by Boskalis is a revolutionary way to ensure Carnival Vista’s repairs are completed in a safe, timely and efficient manner, so the ship can resume her popular seven-day schedule from Galveston later this month,” said Lars Ljoen, executive vice president of marine operations for Carnival Cruise Line.

Boka Vanguard is expected to arrive in Bahamian waters on Friday, July 5 to prepare for Carnival Vista’s arrival on July 12. The loading, transport and repairs are expected to take approximately two weeks, allowing Carnival Vista to return to Galveston in time for her July 27 voyage and continue with year-round seven-day Caribbean itineraries.

Cunard Welcomes Back Former Bellboy - Now 100
Luxury cruise line Cunard has welcomed back one of their oldest living former crewmembers as he prepares to celebrate his 100th birthday in the same month that Cunard will celebrate 100-years of sailing from the City of Southampton.

November 2019 marks a century since the record-breaking superliner RMS. Mauretania inaugurated Cunard's Southampton express transatlantic service; linking the Hampshire shipping hub with New York City.

Former Cunard bellboy, John 'Jack' Jenkins MBE, who recently gave a moving speech at the D-Day commemoration ceremony in Portsmouth attended by Her Majesty the Queen, HRH The Prince of Wales and US President Donald Trump, was recently welcomed on board Cunard's iconic ocean liner Queen Mary 2 by Captain Aseem Hashmi MNM for a celebratory lunch. Whilst on board, the Captain invited Mr Jenkins to inspect the ship's bellboys – to ensure they met the high standards of 1930s Cunard service.

Queen Mary 2's crew easily passed the inspection, though Mr. Jenkins was quick to point out that working on board Mauretania was quite different to how it is today.

"I remember one of my first trips, when we sailed to the West Indies," Mr. Jenkins Recalls. "When we would arrive in port I would then have to walk around on deck with a gong, as we had no tannoy system back then, and bang the gong and say, 'All visitors ashore, all visitors ashore'."

Born at a time when ocean liners were the only way to travel, Mr. Jenkins went on to join Cunard in 1933 as a bellboy and lift operator. RMS. Mauretania was the first Cunard ship he was appointed to – the very ship that established Cunard's Southampton hub in the year of his birth.

After Mauretania was retired in 1934, Mr. Jenkins served on board the Cunard ship Ascania until the outbreak of World War II. Joining the war effort, he fought at D-Day in 1945, before returning to the UK to take up a career in the merchant navy.

"It was such an honor to welcome back Mr. Jenkins to the Cunard family," said Captain Hashmi. "It felt like a very fitting way to start our centenary celebrations, here in Southampton, and of course to congratulate Mr. Jenkins on such a special milestone birthday that he will celebrate later this year. The members of the ship's company and I thoroughly enjoyed listening to stories of what life was like on board, and we look forward to the opportunity to do so again."

Departing November 18, 2019, Queen Mary 2 will undertake an historic Transatlantic Crossing from Southampton to New York – in tribute of the century long relationship between the City and Cunard. Guests on this celebratory voyage will journey into the past thanks to a travelling maritime exhibition from Southampton's Sea City Museum, as well as a series of enrichment lectures on board. Maritime Historian and author Chris Frame, will be joined by local history expert Penny Legg, each presenting a series of unique talks about the long and illustrious history of Cunard and Southampton.

Seabourn Unveils Custom Subs To Take Travelers "Below The Surface" On New Ultra-Luxury Purpose-Built Expedition Ships
Seabourn, the world's finest ultra-luxury cruise line, is preparing to take travelers into the depths of the ocean for the first time by revealing the design and details for its custom submarines that will operate excursions for an additional charge from the line's two upcoming ultra-luxury purpose-built expedition ships. Both Seabourn Venture and her yet-to-be-named sister ship will sail to the far corners of the Earth carrying two U-Boat Worx Cruise Sub 7 subs designed specifically for Seabourn.

Each battery-powered sub will carry six guests as well as one pilot, who will guide the journey up to 300 meters beneath the surface to explore sunken wrecks, reefs, and view marine wildlife in their natural habitat. Guests are seated in two clear acrylic spheres flanking the center pilot's station, with an awe-inspiring perspective of the marine world just outside thanks to undisturbed and undistorted views in virtually all directions. The three passenger seats in each sphere are mounted on a rotating platform that can turn for best sightlines.

"The undersea world is often considered as the last great frontier on Earth, with more than 80 percent of the underwater realm remaining unmapped, unobserved, and unexplored according to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration," said Robin West, vice president of Expedition Operations for Seabourn. "With these subs, we're going to take our guests to places that few have ever seen firsthand, leaving them with a perspective on the world around us that is jaw-dropping and will create stories to last a lifetime."

To maximize the guest experience, the subs will be outfitted with a host of optional equipment to enhance this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. A 4k underwater video camera system will record the world outside while an internal video recording system will capture imagery of guests inside and their direct surroundings. Video footage can then be downloaded and projected on large screens in the Discovery Center during lectures aboard the ships. A six-function manipulator arm capable of lifting up to 32 kg (about 70 pounds) will also be mounted on the side of the sub. In keeping with the luxury experience found on Seabourn, each sub on both ships will be outfitted with custom embroidered leather upholstery, two air conditioning systems, a Bluetooth stereo system, and champagne chiller for guests looking to toast their voyage of discovery.

The subs will be operated multiple times per day in regions around the world where conditions are suitable. They will be equipped with underwater LED flood/spot lights, imaging sonar that acts as a second set of eyes, and an advanced underwater tracking and navigation system.

Seabourn Venture is scheduled to launch in June 2021, with a second yet-to-be-named sister ship slated to launch in May 2022. The ships are being designed from conception for expedition travel blended with ultra-luxury and personalized service by leading travel experts and seasoned professionals with great depth of experience in expedition, hospitality, and luxury cruising.

Four Holland America Line Ships Set to Explore the Contrasting Landscapes of South America and Antarctica in 2019-20
The exciting lands of red-hot tango; ice-blue glaciers; and lush, green jungle come to life when Holland America Line's Amsterdam, Koningsdam, Volendam and Zaandam head to South America and Antarctica in 2019–2020. From September 2019 through April 2020, the four ships offer cruises ranging from 14 to 48 days that cover the colorful cultures and stunning scenery of this vast continent.

Guests will explore exotic and remote ports that offer once-in-a-lifetime experiences like sailing on the Amazon River, strolling the bustling streets of Buenos Aires, relaxing on the golden beaches of Rio de Janeiro and visiting the Incan ruins of Machu Picchu.

"The contrast of cultures, climates and landscapes throughout South America is a draw for explorers seeking a wide variety on a single itinerary, and our longer cruises offer an exceptional collection of ports that highlight everything this region has to offer," said Orlando Ashford, Holland America Line's president. "Travelers can choose from our newest class of ship Koningsdam to the more intimate Zaandam, both featuring localized activities, cuisine and rich cultural experiences brought to life throughout the voyage."

Departures begin on both coasts of North and South America including Fort Lauderdale, Florida; San Diego, California; Seattle, Washington; Vancouver, British Columbia; Callao (Lima), Peru; San Antonio (Santiago), Chile; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; and Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Highlights include Zaandam's full season of cruising, Koningsdam's 48-day Voyage of the Americas, the longest itinerary of the season; Amsterdam's 35-day Incan Empires; and Volendam's 30-day Amazon Explorer.

Nearly all of the itineraries feature overnight calls at some of South America's most iconic cities, including Buenos Aires; Callao; Rio de Janeiro; Manaus, Brazil; and Fuerte Amador, Panama, giving guests ample time to explore these remarkable destinations and experience the vibrant nightlife.

Zaandam's Sensational South America Season
Kicking off its extensive South America season, Zaandam embarks on a 33-day Panama Canal, Inca & South America Discovery Collectors' Voyage Oct. 16, 2019, from Fort Lauderdale to Rio de Janeiro. The ship visits ports in Aruba, Panama, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil. The sailing include a transit of the Panama Canal and an overnight at Callao.

Guests also can choose two segments of this voyage: a 17-day Inca Discovery & Panama Canal itinerary from Fort Lauderdale to San Antonio (Santiago) and a 16-day South America Passage from San Antonio (Santiago) to Rio de Janeiro.

Zaandam then sails a series of 14- or 16-day South America Passage cruises between San Antonio (Santiago) and Buenos Aires through March that features calls including Puerto Montt, Puerto Chacabuco and Punta Arenas, Chile; Ushuaia, Argentina; Stanley, Falkland Islands; and Montevideo, Uruguay, as well as scenic cruising in the breathtaking Chilean Fjords and around Cape Horn.

Guests longing for the ultimate white Christmas can embark on Zaandam's 22-Day South America & Antarctica Holiday Dec. 18 from Buenos Aires to San Antonio. The cruise includes calls in Uruguay, Argentina, the Falkland Islands and Chile. The sailing features an overnight in Buenos Aires and four days exploring the incredible vistas of Antarctica, as well as scenic cruising in the Chilean Fjords. Guests also can embark on this itinerary Jan. 9 or Jan. 31.

Zaandam concludes its South America season with a 31-day South America, Inca & Panama Canal Discovery Collectors' Voyage from Buenos Aires to Fort Lauderdale. The sailing includes overnights at Buenos Aires, Callao and Fuerte Amador, as well as calls in the Falkland Islands, Chile, Peru, Ecuador, Aruba and the Bahamas. For a shorter cruise, guests can embark on a 17-day segment from San Antonio to Fort Lauderdale.

Exploring Incan Empires with Amsterdam
Departing Sept. 23, Amsterdam sails a 21- to 35-day Incan Empires cruise from Seattle to San Diego down the Pacific coasts of North and South America visiting Mexico, Panama, Ecuador, Peru, Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Guatemala. The voyage includes an overnight in Callao (Lima), allowing time for a visit to Machu Picchu. Holland America Line also offers a 21-day cruise from Seattle to Callao.

In addition to departures from Seattle, guests can book a 34- or 20-day segment from Vancouver; a 14- or 28-day segment from San Diego; or a 14-day sailing from Callao.

Koningsdam Embarks on a Voyage of the Americas
On March 15, 2020, Koningsdam embarks on a 48-day Voyage of the Americas from Fort Lauderdale to Vancouver. The cruise calls at ports in Barbados, French Guiana, Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina, Chile, Peru, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Mexico and Canada. The sailing also includes an overnight in Buenos Aires.

Along with the full 48-day itinerary, guests can book nine segments: 18-, 32- or 44-day segments from Fort Lauderdale; 14-, 26- or 30-day segments from Buenos Aires; or 12- or 16-day segments from Callao.

Volendam Cruises the Longest River in the World
Conveniently sailing roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale Nov. 20, 2019, Volendam sets sail on a 30-day Amazon Explorer voyage. The ship will sail throughout the Caribbean visiting St. Bart's, St. Lucia, Barbados, Curaçao and Grand Cayman. However, the highlight of this cruise is Brazil. Guests will enjoy two weeks exploring this dynamic country with calls at multiple ports, including an overnight at Manaus at the end of the Amazon River and three full days of cruising the world's longest river.

MSC Cruises Celebrates Its 20 Millionth Cruiser
MSC Cruises — the Swiss-based world's largest privately-owned cruise line — celebrated this past weekend a key global milestone in the company's history, welcoming its 20 millionth cruiser on board the Miami-based MSC Seaside.

This significant achievement is a testament to MSC Cruises' expansion since its establishment only in 2003, quickly becoming a global player with one of the highest growth rates in the industry and the introduction of 16 cruise ships over the span of 16 years. In 2019 alone, the company will have launched two new ships — MSC Bellissima in March and MSC Grandiosa in November — and will introduce its new island destination, Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve, debuting in November.

"Reaching our 20 millionth cruiser is truly a milestone achievement for MSC Cruises, and a representation of how far we've come while building a global brand that serves guests from over 170 nationalities across five continents," said Gianni Onorato, CEO of MSC Cruises. "With our capacity set to triple by 2027, we will continue to raise the bar in two main areas, on board and ashore, offering our guests a unique experience each time they sail with us. MSC Seaside is the perfect example of this: she is one of the most innovative ships at sea in terms of design as well as onboard experience. She also features the latest and some of the most innovative environmental technology at sea."

MSC Seaside not only complies with the highest international standards, she also received from international classification society RINA – in addition to the main class notations – its "Green Star 3 Design" certificate. RINA's Green Star 3 – the latest and most comprehensive edition of the RINA's Green STAR class notations – specifically recognizes that MSC Seaside reaches the greatest levels of eco-compatibility thanks to the relevance of the various innovative measures put in place which help reducing the environmental footprint during operations. These include, amongst others, the exhaust gas cleaning system, the advanced waste water treatment, systems for the prevention of oil discharge from machinery spaces, the ballast water treatment system, and the ship's Environmental Management Plan.

Fleet wide, MSC Cruises' offers guests an enriching cruise vacation inspired by the Company's European heritage. On board, guests are able to meet people from all over the world, while enjoying fine dining options from world-renowned chefs, exclusive world-class entertainment, award-winning activities and facilities for families and children of all ages, luxurious wellness and comfortable accommodations to meet every need. On land, MSC Cruises' guests are then able to discover the hidden treasures of each destination they visit through specially curated tours and one-of-a-kind, immersive experiences designed for each itinerary.

MSC Cruises maintains a foothold as the world's fastest growing cruise line with an ambitious €13.6 billion EUR (˜15.6 billion USD) investment plan in place, which will introduce a total of 17 ships between 2017 and 2027, bringing the fleet total to 29 cruise ships. In addition to continued global expansion, MSC Cruises has placed a priority on increasing its presence in North America. To this end, by the close of 2019 MSC Cruises will have, for the first time, four ships sailing from Miami — MSC Seaside, MSC Meraviglia (arriving to North America for the first time in October 2019), MSC Divina and MSC Armonia.

"As MSC Cruises expands its presence in the North American market, the support of and collaboration with our travel advisors is paramount to our success," said Ken Muskat, EVP and Chief Operating Officer of MSC Cruises USA. "We were extremely pleased to learn that Mr. Bonachea and his family were booked by one of the largest travel agency networks in the U.S., Dream Vacations, a long time dedicated partner of MSC Cruises. We look forward to celebrating this occasion with them."

Raul Bonachea, MSC Cruises' 20 millionth cruiser, his wife and daughter, from Winter Haven, Fla., are currently sailing on board MSC Seaside for a 7-night cruise that departed from Miami on June 29, booked by Dream Vacations. To honor Raul and celebrate this exciting milestone, MSC Cruises upgraded the family to a luxurious MSC Yacht Club suite, offering the family an elevated ship-within-a-ship experience complete with a private restaurant, pool and lounge as well as 24-hour butler and concierge service. And, to toast the occasion with all of the guests on board, MSC Seaside hosted a 20 Millionth Guest Party on Sunday, June 30 in the ship's atrium, the social hub of the ship. The celebration was bubbling with complimentary champagne for all guests, a special officers' parade, an artisan cake and a special performance from one of the ship's most popular shows. The Captain joined the celebrations and toast, offering congratulations and a special gift for MSC Cruises' 20 millionth cruiser.

"MSC Cruises is one of our valued partners and we couldn't be more pleased to learn that our Dream Vacations Travel Agent Myrna Reyes was the booking agent who sold the 20 millionth MSC Cruises customer," said Drew Daly, senior vice president and general manager of Dream Vacations. "We are excited to be part of the celebrations of this historic milestone."

"We are thrilled to have sold the cruise voyage to MSC Cruises' 20 millionth customer," said Myrna Reyes, travel agent with Dream Vacations – Santisteban and Associates in Miami. "Our agency has long been a believer in the MSC Cruises' product. We remain convinced that the MSC Cruises' brand is a spectacular vacation product which offers consumers the most modern and beautiful ships at sea. Our Dream Vacations travel advisors are delighted to be part of this celebration. We remain loyal to the MSC Cruises' brand and look forward to being part of the MSC Cruises' story for the next 20 million consumers and beyond."

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 46.29 + 0.63%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 118.07 + 0.83%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 1.04 + 2.97%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 52.82 + 3.92%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Beginning in March of 1989, Cunard's QE2 was out of service for 72 days. Why was she out of service?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Cunard's Queen Mary 2 has a nightclub named G32. What is the origin of the club's name?

Answer -The s/s Constitution and the s/s Independence were the last two liners built with a counter stern. They were built at Quincy, MA. USA, at the Fore River Shipyard. They entered service for the American Export Line in 1951. They served on the New York-Genoa/Naples route.
courtesy of Larry P Macdonald, Belmont, MA USA


Cruise News - June 24, 2019

Princess Cruises Appoints Senior Officers and Staff for Enchanted Princess
Princess Cruises has announced the leadership team for its newest ship, Enchanted Princess, a year before her debut. Captain Nick Nash and Captain Gennaro Arma will rotate as Captains of Enchanted Princess.

Debuting in Rome (Civatevecchia) on June 19, 2020 for a nine-day Mediterranean cruise, Enchanted Princess will be led by a team of executive officers with extensive maritime experience, including more than 160 years combined service with Princess Cruises. Captain Nash will bring the ship into service from the Fincantieri shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy, joined at the launch by Chief Engineer Officer Ignazio Cappelluti, Hotel General Manager Dirk Brand, and Staff Captain Raffaele Di Martino.

Captain Arma will serve together with Chief Engineer Officer Massimiliano Imperiale, Hotel General Manager Richard Harry, and Staff Captain Richard Dalton.

"All of us at Princess Cruises congratulate Captain Nash and Captain Arma on their well-earned appointments as Captains of our new Enchanted Princess. It is an honor and a testament to their dedicated years of service," said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises president. "As we continue to grow our fleet with five new ships arriving by 2025, there are many opportunities for our crew to grow professionally. We believe we have the best crew at sea, who continually offer our guests a safe cruising experience and world-class service."

The 3,660-guest Enchanted Princess shares all of the spectacular style and luxury of its sister ships - Regal Princess, Royal Princess, Majestic Princess and the soon-to-be launched Sky Princess. Guests will discover exquisite, one-of-a-kind dining experiences, more pools and whirlpool hot tubs and world-class entertainment venues hosting dazzling performances. The ship also will feature breathtaking Sky Suites, with expansive views from the largest balconies at sea, which will originally debut on Sky Princess.

In addition, guests can make the most of their vacation time with the Princess MedallionClass experience, featuring the complimentary OceanMedallion™ wearable device that delivers an entirely new level of service and creates a vacation that is more simple, effortless and personalized.

Enchanted Princess Leadership Team

Captain Nick Nash – Captain Nick Nash has successfully moved through the ranks at Princess Cruises over his 30-year career and currently commands the cruise line's 3,560-passenger Royal Princess. Captain Nash joined Princess Cruises in 1989, was promoted to Staff Captain in 1997 and Captain in 2002 and Fleet Captain in 2014 and 2015. He was appointed President of The Nautical Institute in 2018, pledging to help in its efforts to improve standards of shiphandling, as well as navigation bridge resource management. He was also awarded the United Kingdom's Merchant Navy Medal for meritorious service. Captain Nash is also actively involved in the evolution of Carnival Corporation's simulator training facility in Amsterdam (CSMART).

Captain Gennaro Arma – Captain Gennaro Arma began his career with Princess Cruises in 1998 as a Cadet and moved up the ranks. He achieved his first command as Captain of Sea Princess in 2015 where he navigated the ship on two world cruises. He took the helm of Diamond Princess in 2018. During his time at Princess Cruises, he has been part of newbuild teams for Diamond Princess and Regal Princess. Born in the beautiful peninsula of Sorrento, Italy, Captain Arma has always been passionate about the sea.

Chief Engineer Officer Ignazio Cappelluti – Chief Engineer Officer Ignazio Cappelluti began his career at Princess Cruises in 2003 as an Engine Cadet. He was first appointed acting Chief Engineer Officer onboard Majestic Princess in 2018 and was confirmed Chief Engineer Officer in 2019. He has served aboard many Princess Cruises ships including Grand Princess, Royal Princess, Sapphire Princess, Golden Princess and Coral Princess.

Chief Engineer Officer Massimiliano Imperiale – Chief Engineer Officer Massimiliano Imperiale started his time with Princess Cruises in 1999 as an Engine Cadet. He was first appointed acting Chief Engineer Officer onboard Caribbean Princess in 2013 and was confirmed Chief Engineer Officer in 2017. His vast knowledge of the Princess Cruises fleet includes time serving onboard Ruby Princess, Sapphire Princess, Coral Princess and Island Princess.

Captain Raffaele Di Martino – Raffaele Di Martino started his career at Princess Cruises in 2004, serving as Third Officer onboard Dawn Princess. He was promoted to Staff Captain in 2017, serving most recently on the first MedallionClass vessels – Caribbean Princess and Regal Princess. His career at sea began in the Italian Navy and later onboard cargo vessels, ferries and tug boats. He graduated from the Nautical School of Nino Bixio in Sorrento, Italy.

Staff Captain Richard Dalton – Staff Captain Richard Dalton began his career at Princess Cruises as a Cadet in 2001. He rose through the ranks and was named Staff Captain in 2017. Dalton's call to the sea started at just eight years old, sailing on his father's yacht, and by the age of 18 he had already gained his Yacht Masters. He grew up on the Isle of Bute, a small island on the west coast of Scotland.

Hotel General Manager Dirk Brand – Dirk Brand began his career at sea in 1998 as a Senior Assistant Food and Beverage Director during the inaugural season of Grand Princess. He has overseen all hotel functions for a variety of Princess Cruises ships, including most recently Majestic Princess and Regal Princess. He has also worked aboard the ships of sister company Cunard. Brand was born in Berlin, Germany and grew up in Munich. After completing his education and apprenticeship in hotel management, he served with the Air Force in Sardinia, Italy.

Hotel General Manager Richard Harry - Richard Harry joined Princes Cruises in 1988 as a Front Desk Receptionist. He will soon serve on the newbuild team of Sky Princess when the ship debuts in fall 2019. This will be the sixth time he has been a part of a newbuild team. Harry was born in Farnborough, England and now resides in Bristol.

Celebrity Cruises Celebrity Flora Christened
In a game-changing moment two years in the making, Celebrity Cruises officially launched the revolutionary new Celebrity Flora, a 100-guest, all-suites mega yacht that's poised to connect travelers to the Galapagos Islands like never before. The ship was welcomed to the brand's award-winning fleet with a sustainability-focused ceremony where executives, valued travel advisers and journalists joined the ship's Godmother, environmental advocate and former World Wildlife Fund International President Yolanda Kakabadse, in blessing the ship. In another first, a partnership was announced with EarthEcho International, a nonprofit organization founded by Philippe Cousteau. Jr., to inspire young people to act now for a sustainable future.

The naming ceremony brought together distinguished guests, employees and crew members to commemorate the debut of Celebrity Flora, the first ship of its kind designed specifically for the Galapagos Islands.

"Every once in a while, a unique ship comes along in the industry and changes things, and Celebrity Flora is that ship," said Richard D. Fain, Chairman and CEO, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. "The Galapagos is a truly unique destination and deserved a ship with sustainability at its core. Today was an incredibly special day, with a very special Godmother."

Fain added: "Yolanda Kakabadse has been a moral force for sustainability, in Ecuador and around the world, and we are honored to have her inspiration as Celebrity Flora sets sail."

"Our guests have never seen a destination quite like the beautiful Galapagos Islands, and the islands have never seen a ship quite like Celebrity Flora, perfectly blending intimate luxury with sustainability," said Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, President and CEO, Celebrity Cruises. "The ship is designed to showcase this amazing destination, giving our guests incredible memories — and underscoring the critical importance of protecting our planet's fragile ecosystems."

Both Fain and Lutoff-Perlo, as well as Kakabadse, delivered passionate remarks about the ship's sustainability, cutting-edge design, and the brand's commitment to this awe-inspiring region. In a unique nod to these themes, the traditional bottle-breaking was triggered by a ceremonial ribbon-cutting that used a hand-crafted ribbon made from green banana core and crafted by a collective of local female artisans known as Manos Magicas. In addition, the Ecuadorian national anthem was sung by two schoolchildren from Ecuador.

"Being here in the beautiful Galapagos Islands on board Celebrity Flora has reminded me of one of my favorite quotes by Charles Darwin: 'In the long history of humankind those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed,'" said Kakabadse. "Darwin was right; this is the time to collaborate with all sectors of society, and permanently innovate to seek new ways to address development challenges. Tourism can be at the center and Celebrity Flora is at the forefront."

During the event, a partnership was revealed with EarthEcho International. Celebrity and the team at the non-profit will work together to introduce a comprehensive and customized youth strategy, designed to empower a new generation of environmental advocates both in the local communities of the Galapagos, as well as aboard Celebrity Flora and Celebrity Xpedition in the region. The program will include:

• youth focused, environmental sustainability projects in the Galapagos Islands

• activities for youth as part of Celebrity's onboard program

By training, engaging and investing in youth and the local community, Celebrity and EarthEcho International will work to inspire champions for the protection and enhancement of the treasured ecosystems of the Galapagos Islands. Over time, the goal is to explore opportunities to expand this partnership to other regions around the world.

Philippe Cousteau Jr., Co-Founder, EarthEcho International, said: "The launch of Celebrity Flora presents an incredible opportunity for EarthEcho International and Celebrity to jointly develop a meaningful and impactful, initiative that will engage and empower young environmental leaders both onboard and in the communities of the Galapagos Islands."

Lutoff-Perlo added: "We want to leave a destination in a better place than when we found it, and we work with partners who share this mission, so joining with EarthEcho International and Philippe is the perfect partnership for us, especially as we both passionately believe that the next generation is critically important to the future of our planet."

Ceremony guests also enjoyed the chance to take part in a panel on sustainability and the uniqueness of the Galapagos Islands held in the ship's stunning Discovery Lounge. The panel was designed to raise awareness of the unique environmental aspects of the destination and highlight the sustainable firsts exclusive to Celebrity Flora. Host Dr. Ellen Prager, world-renowned marine scientist and regional destination expert, discussed topics with a distinguished panel, including Cousteau Jr; Peter B. Ortner, Research Professor, University of Miami, Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science; and Kakabadse.

The most energy-efficient ship of its kind in the region, Celebrity Flora was designed specifically to explore the Galapagos. Celebrity's signature outward-facing design concept gives guests 360-degree views of the islands at virtually every turn. The all-suite luxurious accommodations surround guests with every creature comfort, including service provided by personal attendants. Unique to Celebrity Flora are the first-ever glamping experience at sea in the Galapagos, new dining venues, an open-air stargazing platform, expert-led ecological seminars, and custom-designed Novurania yacht tenders, which create a seamless sea-to-shore experience.

With the launch of their newest ship, Celebrity had the opportunity to blend exploration and research by making Celebrity Flora the first vessel in the Galapagos to be equipped with cutting-edge oceanographic research equipment, known as Oceanscope. The program builds on a more than 20-year relationship with University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science that benefits from a cruise ship's consistent itinerary to create a perfect and cost-effective way for scientists to gather and measure ocean circulation dynamics.

The system will track and map the region while measuring sea-surface temperatures and gathering data critical to research prediction of El Niño and La Niña. All findings gathered by Celebrity Flora will become open source data – globally accessible to research – a first for scientists around the world and anyone with a passion for this information.

Celebrity Flora is also one of the most energy-efficient ships in its class, with a 15-percent reduction of fuel consumption and equivalently fewer air emissions, thanks to the introduction of an advanced propulsion system, hull configuration and specially designed diesel engines. Celebrity Flora's dynamic positioning is a first in the Galapagos. It has anchorless technology, which maintains the ship's position while protecting the sensitive sea floor system, with zero speed stabilizers promising smooth sailing throughout.

Celebrity Flora will have in-room water filtration stations and the ability to reuse air conditioning condensation to provide water to the shipboard laundry facilities. Reverse osmosis equipment will be used, so the ship can process sea water into fresh water to supply 100-percent of her needs. Plus, any materials that can be recycled, reused or donated will be as part of a strict waste management system.

Celebrity Flora will sail from Baltra year-round, making its first sailing on June 30, 2019.

Voyager of the Seas Ups the Ante Down Under With New Wave of Thrills
Adventures in the South Pacific will take on a whole new meaning with the highly anticipated arrival of a bolder-than-ever Voyager of the Seas this summer. Royal Caribbean International has revealed a USD$97 million new look with a lineup of first-to-market features for the region's debut amplified ship. From The Perfect Storm duo of racer waterslides to the reinvigorated Vitality Spa and redesigned kids and teens spaces, Voyager will tout a thrilling combination of experiences that makes for an unforgettable family holiday on this side of the world. Beginning Oct. 21, the newly transformed ship will set sail on a series of 3- to 5-night Southeast Asia itineraries from Singapore, followed by a season down under with 9- to 12-night South Pacific cruises from Sydney, Australia, starting on Nov. 30.

"Royal Caribbean is an innovator in holidays, and the newly amplified Voyager of the Seas is no exception," says Susan Bonner, Managing Director for Royal Caribbean International Australia and New Zealand.

"We are thrilled to welcome Voyager back to Sydney where local holidaymakers can step onboard for a holiday of a lifetime with its new bold adventures and exhilarating features. From pulse-raising adventures down high-speed waterslides on The Perfect Storm or going head to head at Battle for Planet Z laser tag – both firsts for the Australian market – to unwinding and indulging in the brand-new Vitality Spa, Voyager of the Seas offers unforgettable experiences for the whole family to enjoy."

Deck-Defying Thrills
On Voyager of the Seas, holiday-makers can dial up the adventure with newly added Royal Caribbean hits never before seen in the South Pacific.

The Perfect Storm waterslides duo – Typhoon and Cyclone – will raise the stakes with three stories of heart-pumping twists and turns. This is the ultimate ride where guests can challenge their limits and each other in a high-speed race for bragging rights. The can't-miss attraction joins returning favourites, including the FlowRider surf simulator, rock-climbing wall and mini-golf, to round out the ship's action-packed aft.

Family Time Maximised
The cruise line's amped-up holidays also introduce new and reimagined experiences for the whole family to spend time together and on their own while on board.

Making its out-of-this-world debut on Voyager of the Seas, Battle for Planet Z laser tag has quickly become a staple on Royal Caribbean ships. The glow-in-the-dark adventure in Studio B takes place in a universe of the distant future as two groups of thrill seekers – aliens and robots – go head to head to claim the last planet of a far-flung galaxy.

Younger guests, ranging from babies to teens, will enjoy a top-to-bottom redesign of their dedicated spaces. A fresh take on the award-winning Adventure Ocean, for kids of 3 to 12 years old, brings a modern, free-play approach to a new, open layout with whimsical activities at every corner. A first on Voyager, a nursery for babies and tots will open its doors, while 3- to 5-year-olds can dive into the excitement in an area created just for them. Teens are in for an exclusive, updated hangout like no other on board, along with the addition of a laidback outdoor deck.

Relaxation Renewed
Holiday-makers looking to relax and recharge are in for a treat at the Vitality Spa and Fitness Centre. Enhanced and relocated to the aft of the ship, the spa and gym will offer its extensive, signature menu of services, including massages, acupuncture, manicures, fitness classes and personal training. Guests who opt to cool down poolside can look forward to a refreshed Solarium for all-day, adults-only tranquil vibes.

More highlights to make their way to Voyager include 72 new inside and balcony staterooms, a Suite Lounge and outdoor area – exclusively for guests in Grand Suites and above; and the Diamond Lounge for members of Royal Caribbean's Crown & Anchor Society loyalty program. The reimagined ship will also feature the new Royal Caribbean International mobile app. Travellers can soon check in for their cruise holiday from their phone, and once on board, the app will deliver an array of capabilities. From exploring and planning activities for each day of the itinerary, and viewing onboard expenses, to booking and managing dining, shore excursion and show reservations, guests will be able to seamlessly transition into holiday mode. Voyager will be the fourth ship reimagined as part of the Royal Amplified fleet modernisation effort built on research and guest feedback. The cruise line's investment of more than $1 billion spans 10 ships in four years and touches every facet of the guest experience. Introducing a robust variety of bold adventures meant to appeal to every generation, the program is a representation of Royal Caribbean's passion for innovation, relentless attention to detail and commitment to delivering unforgettable holidays.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises Reveals 65 Excursions Exclusive to Seven Seas Splendor
Demonstrating its commitment to offer luxury travelers an unrivaled experience, Regent Seven Seas Cruises today revealed 65 new Mediterranean and Northern Europe shore excursions curated with local tour operators debuting exclusively for guests sailing on the inaugural 2020 season of Seven Seas SplendorTM. The excursions will expand to all Regent ships sailing Europe starting in 2021.

Soar in a helicopter over the gorgeous countryside outside Monaco en route to an unforgettable meal at La Bastide de Moustiers, created by the famed French chef Alain Ducasse, or stay grounded on an electric-bike tour of La Cadiere d'Azur, savoring the bouquets of the many vintages found throughout the vineyards around Toulon, France. Tour the stunning beauty around Sorrento, Italy, and admire Caravaggio's masterpiece, The Seven Works of Mercy, on display at Pious Mount of Mercy Church in Naples, or learn under the tutelage of a master chef in Greenock, Scotland to discover there is much more than just haggis to Scottish cuisine.

"We collaborated with the best local tour operators in the region to curate unique and memorable experiences that will result in a truly unrivaled experience for guests sailing on Seven Seas Splendor's inaugural season," said Jason Montague, president and chief executive officer of Regent Seven Seas Cruises. "Many of these excursions are being offered for the first time by our tour operator partners and are new for luxury travelers. With nearly half of these experiences included in Regent's Free Unlimited Shore Excursions program, our new offerings are one more example of how Seven Seas Splendor will perfect luxury."

Spanning across Croatia, France, Greece, Monaco, Montenegro, Ireland, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom, the excursions offer excitement, deep learning and enriching opportunities, such as:

• MAGNIFICENT VILLAGES OF FONTAINE DE VAUCLUSE AND L'ISLE SUR LA SORGUE.
(France) Explore two charming Provence villages in Marseille, France that revolve around the meandering Sorgue River that connects them. The river's source is a powerful spring in the village of Fontaine de Vaucluse that gushes an abundance of turquoise water through the beautiful Provençal countryside. It's the fastest-flowing water in France. Jacques Cousteau tried to reach the spring's underwater source in the 1940s but the current was so strong he turned back. Guests will see the famed spring and other landmarks in the ancient village, which has long inspired writers and artists. (Included in voyage price)

• ACOUSTIC FLAMENCO AND THE MINES (Spain)
Enjoy a unique tour of a former mine that culminates with an underground flamenco performance of songs that salute the mining industry. The Carthaginians and Romans first mined the area around the village of Parque Minero more than 2,000 years ago. Mining reached its peak in the 19th century, as guests will discover while walking through the vast complex of caves in the Agrupa Vicenta mine. The acoustics below the surface are excellent for flamenco, the soulful instrumental guitar music synonymous with southern Spain. (Included in voyage price)

• A VISIT TO AMBELONAS WINE ESTATE (Greece)
Tour a centuries-old estate in Corfu's fertile interior and sample wines paired with organic delicacies that reflect the owners' passion for preserving traditional methods of production. After departing from the pier, guests enjoy a brief, picturesque drive into the interior of Corfu, a fertile agricultural area that inspired the island's nickname — the Emerald Island. At the Ambelonas estate, guests are welcomed with a cup of herbal tea that is highly regarded for its refreshing, restorative qualities. During the tour that follows, guests walk through the estate's vineyard with one of the owners and learn about the two varieties of grapes that are grown at Ambelonas: red skopelitiko and white kakotrygis. A highlight of the visit to Ambelonas is a tasting of wines thoughtfully paired with delicacies prepared on the estate. (Included in voyage price)

• CARAVAGGIO EXCLUSIVE VISIT AT PIO MONTE.
(Italy) In Naples, marvel at "The Seven Works of Mercy," Caravaggio's exquisite oil painting that depicts seven acts of kindness on a single large canvas, while the curator elaborates on its artistic significance. With Mount Vesuvius looming in the background, guests will then proceed through town to the 100-year-old restaurant, La Bersagliera, a lovely waterfront setting for lunch.

• MUSSEL TASTING TOUR BY SPEED BOAT.
(Montenegro) Cruise through beautiful Boka Bay in Montenegro to the islet Our Lady of the Rocks and then sample freshwater mussels at a farm that grows and harvests them. The leisurely boat ride will be extraordinarily scenic, especially approaching Our Lady of the Rocks, a small, manmade islet created to commemorate the sailors from the town of Perast, which lies directly across the bay. Boka Bay is also known for producing some of Montenegro's finest mussels, and guests will enjoy an insider's look at the process at a commercial mussel farm.

• ELECTRIC-BIKE IN THE VINEYARDS FROM LA CADIERE D'AZUR (France).
Ride an electric bike from the enchanting village of La Cadiere d'Azur in France through the vineyards of the Bandol region to sample a selection of characteristic wines and be served fougasse, a crusty Provençal flat bread whose origins date to Roman times. The electronic bike allows guests to ride farther and negotiate hills with considerably less effort than a traditional bike.

Get Ready To Discover The Natural Beauty Of Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve
With just under four months to go until Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve welcomes its first cruise guests, MSC Cruises — the Swiss-based, world's largest privately-owned cruise line — revealed today more details of the unique experience that awaits visitors. The vision for the island is to immerse guests in the natural beauty of their surroundings in the Bahamas. Ocean Cay is founded on a deep commitment to ecological principles – beliefs that shape everything from how venues are built and how the island is run, to the kinds of activities featured on the island. Work is underway to design opportunities for guests to learn about the protection of the oceans and the importance of preserving coral reefs through dedicated edutainment programs.

The Bahamas is renowned for its beautiful blue waters and white sandy beaches, and its oceans are home to a diverse ecosystem that needs to be safeguarded for a promising future. As part of the development of Ocean Cay, MSC Cruises is working to establish the roadmap for the restoration of marine resources, including habitats and species present in the area. This will include the restoration of endangered corals, and the implementation of other conservation and educational programs.

The island is situated within protected waters spanning 64 square miles, but the ambition is to further extend this parameter to ensure an even greater impact. MSC Cruises' guests will have an incredible opportunity to discover the wonders of the ocean in this special part of the world.

To better understand conservation needs and map out key environmental initiatives, MSC Cruises commissioned a Rapid Ecological Assessment (REA) that provided a short term overview of the waters around Ocean Cay.

MSC Cruises has placed a priority on the restoration of coral in the waters surrounding Ocean Cay. An integral part of the marine ecosystem, coral needs to be protected as they maintain biodiversity, provide a habitat for marine life and protect coastlines. Now that the waters around the island are protected and it is no longer an industrial site once used for sand excavation, the seabed is returning to normal. The hope is that the coral will again begin to thrive. Plans are underway to establish a coral nursery on the East side of the island with the goal of propagating even more coral, particularly the more endangered varieties.

The recent survey established that there are three types of coral that can be found in abundance — primarily Agaricia agaricites known as lettuce coral; Porites astreoides commonly known as mustard hill coral or yellow porites; and Siderastrea also known as massive starlet coral. These species are more capable of withstanding harsh temperature conditions and siltation than other species. Also found around the island during the assessment is the critically endangered Acropora palmata known as Elkhorn Coral. Four distinct colonies of this species were observed along the rocky shoreline of these cays. Over time these corals will become candidates for restoration in the coral nursery.

The Ocean Cay team is already seeing an increase in marine life in the area, and the REA identified 88 different species of fish around the island as well as lobster, sea turtles and rays. An important feature of the ecosystem in this region that was assessed is the queen conch, Lobatus gigas. The conch is a large sea snail and lives in the seagrass beds around Ocean Cay and helps to keep the water clean from algal produced by seagrass. The conch is one of the most important fishery species in these waters and a symbol of The Bahamas. However, conch populations have seen dramatic declines in recent years and some of the few remaining breeding populations are those within marine protected areas in The Bahamas. Ocean Cay is a productive conch habitat, and steps will be taken to ensure the protection of the conch to thrive.

In addition to paving the way for the future of the island's ecosystem, work is well underway to finalize the guest experience and welcome the new guests in November. Every aspect of the island is being developed with the vision of creating a truly memorable experience founded in the core philosophy of the island – the discovery of nature. You can find out more about the restoration of Ocean Cay here.

The environmental philosophy of the Ocean Cay guest experience has influenced the choice of water sports. Guests will not find the typical motorized water sports but instead a range of natural ways to enjoy the ocean. This includes stand up paddle boarding (SUP) and kayaking, allowing guests to take in the uninterrupted horizon by getting out on the water.

For those who wish to discover the marine life close-up there will be the opportunity to book a snorkeling & secluded island getaway. This trip to the nearby cay will allow guests to either snorkel on their own or for an enhanced experience, follow a snorkel guide while they point out all of the colorful and exotic marine life in the area. After snorkeling, guests are then taken to a private beach on the remote cay for swimming and relaxing in the water. Space is limited, so guests should book in advance.

For those who are a little more adventurous, scuba diving will also be available with PADI qualified instructors. Guests just looking to get a taste of diving, can book a Discover Scuba Diving class to try it out in shallow waters with a PADI instructor.

Located at the Northern tip of the island in a stunning location with incredible ocean views is The Spa at Ocean Cay. This unique new luxurious spa concept has been created exclusively for Ocean Cay and is designed to immerse guests in their natural surroundings, providing a contrasting experience to the authentic Balinese MSC Aurea Spa on board MSC Cruises' ships.

The Ocean Cay spa offering will stay true to the environmental principles of the island and the products used will be from AVEDA, a beauty brand known for its natural products and environmental commitments. Guests looking for head to toe pampering can choose from different massage options and then simply relax in the stylish treatment room, listening to the sound of the waves and feeling the ocean breeze. A range of very special on-trend fitness sessions will also be available for those looking to find their inner zen. For instance, guests can choose from morning beach yoga, SUP yoga on paddle boards and sunset yoga.

As a family company, MSC Cruises offers an award-winning family offering on board its fleet, which will extend to Ocean Cay. The island has been designed to offer a family friendly experience with the Seakers Family Cove, a paradise for kids with a shallow lagoon to play in and a beautiful sandy beach for games. All of the beaches on the island will be monitored by lifeguards.

The MSC Cruises Kids Club staff will organize games and activities throughout the day at the Seakers Family Cove. The activities featuring the new DOREMI Explorer mascot are designed to facilitate natural discovery and include childhood games such as sand castle contests, kite building, treasure hunts and a family sporting challenge. There will also be dedicated teens programs including an activity in which teens learn to create content to inspire others with the beauty of the island.

The Seakers Food Court is conveniently located close by for families. Serving American classic dishes and kids' favorites, the buffet will be complimentary for guests. Other dining options available on the island include food trucks and guests can also easily return to the ship throughout the day to take advantage of the full range of dining options on board.

After a day spent unwinding and relaxing, one of the highlights of the visit to Ocean Cay will be the evening entertainment and activities. After a stunning sunset when the night falls, the area around the iconic 98 ft. red and white lighthouse will come to life. Guests will be able to enjoy a breathtaking light show that can be enjoyed from the bar, and those craving a more chilled atmosphere can watch from the beach, sitting around one of the fire pits. A traditional junkanoo parade — inspired by the historic Bahamian festival and consisting of a feast of colorful costumes, music and dancing — will get people in the party mood.

Guests will also be able to appreciate the natural environment in the evening. The remote nature of the island means that guests can enjoy an evening of unbelievable stargazing under the Bahamian sky with an astronomy-themed stargazing experience. Guests will enjoy a welcome drink as the astronomer guide, using state of the art computerized tracking telescopes, finds the most striking star clusters, planets, nebulas and galaxies on display that evening.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 46.00 - 12.01%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 117.10 - 4.18%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 1.01 - 0.00%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 50.83 - 4.17%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Name the last pair of ocean liners to be built with an overhanging, counter stern (...such as on the Titanic and many other early twentieth century ocean liners).

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Cunard's Queen Mary 2 has a nightclub named G32. What is the origin of the club's name?

Answer - This was the number that her builders gave her prior to her official naming. QE2 also had the same thing when built, Club 732, her builders number from John Brown Shipbuilders
courtesy of Armand Mantia


Cruise News - June 17, 2019

Keel-Laying Ceremony Held for Carnival's Mardi Gras
In keeping with maritime tradition, a keel-laying ceremony was held today at the Meyer Turku shipyard in Turku, Finland, for Carnival Cruise Line’s Mardi Gras, which is scheduled to enter service in August 2020.

The ceremony, which dates back hundreds of years, was highlighted by the placement of coins on top of a 750-ton keel block called 3C signifying good luck for the ship and the official start of construction.

Carnival’s Senior Vice President of Newbuilds Ben Clement as well as Mardi Gras Captain Giuseppe Giusa, Chief Engineer Ferdinando Ruocco and Hotel Director Pierre Camilleri joined Meyer Turku CEO Jan Meyer at the festivities.

Mardi Gras will be a stunning expression of the Carnival vacation experience offering a variety of groundbreaking innovations, including BOLT, the first roller coaster at sea; the first seagoing restaurant by legendary chef Emeril Lagasse; and six themed zones with a wide range of culinary, beverage and activity choices. Mardi Gras will also be the first cruise ship in North America to be powered by Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), part of Carnival Corporation’s “green cruising” platform.

“This is a historic day for Carnival – the official start of construction of the spectacular Mardi Gras which will usher in an exciting new chapter for our company and introduce so many guest-pleasing innovations,” said Clement.

“We have been very excited to design and now finally to start assembling Mardi Gras. All these different features onboard require a lot of engineering and design expertise which we have been happy to provide to our customer,” CEO of Meyer Turku Jan Meyer states.

Mardi Gras is set to debut in Europe Aug. 31, 2020, then reposition to New York for a series of voyages before shifting to Port Canaveral, Fla., for year-round Caribbean departures.

Carnival Corp. Issues Cuba Statement

Carnival Corporation confirmed on June 5 that due to recent changes in U.S. policy prohibiting cruise ship travel to Cuba, the company’s brands with upcoming scheduled calls there – including Holland America Line, Seabourn and Carnival Cruise Line – will no longer be permitted to sail to Cuba effective immediately.

The company said tht it is working to confirm replacement ports of call. Finalized details will be provided to booked guests and their travel advisors on or before June 15.

The company said tht it regrets that these unexpected changes necessitate altering their published itineraries and look forward to welcoming passengers on board for a memorable Caribbean cruise.

Carnival Cruise Line Reveals More Mardi Gras' Culinary & Beverage Venues
Carnival Cruise Line unveiled several exciting new food and beverage concepts aboard its highly anticipated Mardi Gras, set to debut in 2020, along with further details on the extensive offerings available within the ship's Lido and Summer Landing zones.

The new, only-on-Mardi Gras dining and bar spots in the two themed zones include Street Eats, RedFrog Tiki Bar and The Watering Hole, among many other popular branded outlets and a Big Chicken restaurant by Carnival's Chief Fun Officer Shaquille O'Neal.

These venues – which were previewed at an event yesterday in New York featuring an appearance by O'Neal – can be viewed in a new virtual tour here: https://youtu.be/8g8P5kBMqSs

"Great food and beverage experiences are at the core of any vacation, especially at Carnival. We always strive to provide our guests with the most diverse options possible, but the sheer variety of food and beverage venues on board Mardi Gras is unlike anything we've ever offered before," said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. "Our culinary and beverage teams continue to innovate, ensuring that we have an array of new and exciting options in addition to longtime Carnival favorites our guests love."

New Food and Beverage Concepts in Lido and Summer Landing Zones

• Street Eats – This open-air eatery will bring the ready-to-eat nature of street food to the seas with three themed kiosks offering fried, steamed and plancha (skillet) delicacies. Representing a variety of global cuisines and located next to Seafood Shack, the quick, grab-and-go venue will offer a daily rotating menu. Small plates like empanadas or falafel will be available at the fried station; bao buns or siu mai at the steam outlet; and kebabs or satay at the plancha venue. And the best part – Street Eats' ever-changing options are free of charge.

• RedFrog Tiki Bar – Designed to transport guests to a South Pacific paradise, the new two-level RedFrog Tiki Bar is a twist on Carnival's popular poolside bar with playful, rum-based cocktails in an island-inspired atmosphere decked out with tiki heads, floral patterns and vibrant colors. Steps away from Guy's Burger Joint, guests can wash down hand-crafted burgers with refreshing cocktails – such as the Polynesian Punch, Red's Rum Runner Jumper and Jungle Bird – creatively presented in pineapples, souvenir tiki glasses and Mai Tai glasses with elaborate garnishes.

• The Watering Hole – Situated within The Patio at Summer Landing, The Watering Hole is modeled after a fun backyard gathering spot and is the perfect space for guests to unwind, grab a cocktail and enjoy sweeping sea views. The bar will boast a wide beer selection including Carnival's own canned and draft brews, as well as refreshing summer-inspired sips like the Watermelon Cooler and Tequila Sunset.

Mardi Gras will also feature the second Big Chicken restaurant at sea created by Carnival Chief Fun Officer and NBA Hall of Famer Shaquille O'Neal. Already winning over fans on land at its Las Vegas venue and debuting on Carnival Radiance in 2020, Big Chicken will be located aft on Lido Deck. The all-inclusive breakfast, lunch and dinner menus will also give guests a glimpse into O'Neal's family traditions as all menu items will be developed and taste-tested by the star himself and based on his favorite recipes.

• "Big Chicken is a labor of love featuring all of my favorite fried chicken recipes developed in tandem with my mom," said O'Neal. "Carnival is a great partner, and I am very excited to bring the largest Big Chicken at sea aboard the spectacular new Mardi Gras."

• Additional Dining, Entertainment, Recreation and Relaxation Options

• Mardi Gras takes Carnival's two-deck-high Lido zone to new levels with:

• The largest Guy's Burger Joint in the fleet developed by Food Network personality Guy Fieri, New England-inspired Seafood Shack, Mexican-themed eatery BlueIguana Cantina, and the Lido Marketplace with an extensive array of international favorites;

• Mid-ship Beach Pool and an infinity Aft Tides Pool with a bar, ample seating and sweeping ocean views;

• Exciting entertainment such as legendary deck parties and Dive-in Movies at the Carnival Seaside Theater.

Designed as the ultimate chill spot for fun in the sun, Summer Landing will be home to:

• An expansive outdoor deck area with an infinity pool and two whirlpools;

• A sports bar featuring both indoor and outdoor television screens;

• Hang-out space with cornhole, trivia, arts and crafts, dance classes and more;

• Expanded Guy's Pig & Anchor Smokehouse Brewhouse offering smoked-on-board favorites and an assortment of Carnival's ParchedPig craft beers brewed on site and developed by the line's in-house beverage team, as well as a large stage for live music.

Further details on other Mardi Gras features and themed zones will be announced in the coming months.

Currently under construction at the Meyer Turku shipyard in Turku, Finland, Mardi Gras is slated to enter service in Europe Aug. 31, 2020, before repositioning to New York for a series of voyages then shift to Port Canaveral for year-round seven-day Caribbean cruises beginning in Oct. 2020.

Spectrum Of The Seas To Overnight In Tokyo For Special Sailings In Summer 2020

In true Royal Caribbean International fashion, Spectrum of the Seas will once again raise the bar in the Asian cruise market as the revolutionary ship plans new overnight stays in Tokyo, Japan in summer 2020. Built to deliver great vacation experiences, the first Quantum Ultra Class ship boasts the cruise line’s first private enclave for suite guests, innovative dining concepts, and stunning features and adventures – many of which have never before been seen at sea.

In summer 2020, Spectrum of the Seas and Voyager of the Seas will each sail two special cruises into Tokyo’s brand-new cruise terminal, Shinkyaku Pier, offering guests a once-in-a-lifetime experience to take in the city’s vibrant energy as it comes alive during this exciting time. Spectrum will depart on July 25 and August 2 from Shanghai, China to Tokyo, and Voyager will offer itineraries beginning July 26 out of Hong Kong and August 2 from Tokyo, each staying overnight. Adding to the excitement, Quantum of the Seas will begin sailing from Singapore in 2019, and with both Spectrum and Quantum sailing from Singapore this year, this marks the start of Royal Caribbean’s Double Quantum Year in the region.

“Our ships are designed and created to deliver unforgettable vacation experiences to our guests, and we are proud to be a part of this once-in-a-lifetime experience in Tokyo next summer,” said Bert Hernandez, President, Royal Caribbean China.

Azamara Announces the Largest Selection of Pre- and Post-Voyage Land Programs in the Cruising Industry
Azamara Club Cruises is proud to announce the debut of the largest selection of pre- and post- voyage land programs in the cruise industry. As of today, the destination-focused brand offers a total of over 1,700 land program offerings, which complement the brand's immersive voyages and further enhances its commitment to bringing guests closer to the heart of a destination. The brand's newly expanded destination portfolio, and continuous focus on Destination Immersion, marks Azamara Club Cruises' evolution to Azamara, removing "Club Cruises" from its name and debuting a revitalized logo.

The new name and logo reflect a redefined dedication to the Destination Immersion brand and deepen the brand's renewed focus on cruising and immersive inland experiences. The logo's three main features include: an open world symbol signifying infinite opportunities for world travel, and the brand's commitment to connecting guests to both iconic and off-the-beaten-path destinations; the two artistic strokes represent both land and sea experiences—the left stroke signifies the Earth and the brand's expanded inland explorations, and the right stroke represents the sea and extensive vastness that Azamara crosses; the star in the design is representative of Azamara's namesake "Acamar," which means the brightest star in the southern sky and represents the brand's 'north star'; like a compass that drives balance, direction and dependability.

"Our passion for land has allowed our Destination Immersion programming to evolve over the past 10-years, from 'You'll Love Where We Take You®' to 'Stay Longer, Experience More®' to now 'Explore Further'; Destination Immersion (Longer Stays, More Overnights and Night Touring) is what makes Azamara unique within the industry," says Larry Pimentel, President and CEO of Azamara. "This is just the beginning, we expect our land programming to grow even more as we continue to augment our services. That said, it was a natural next step to take these custom-designed destination itineraries one step further on land and adjust our overall name and expand our strategy."

Larry Pimentel continues, "Now available on every single voyage starting October 2019, and available throughout future deployments, we will provide a variety of unique curated products, which emphasize our Explore Further identity through benefits such as longer stays, more overnights and night touring. These bucket-list type experiences are all made possible in collaboration with reputable, independent travel experts to show the Azamara traveler "a whole new world."

To ensure travelers receive first-class service delivered by a specialized independent team, Azamara has collaborated with some of the world's most renowned luxury travel companies, including Cox & Kings, which will operate over 75 percent of the land programming. Other renowned luxury travel companies include: Micato, PerryGolf™, Aloschi Bros®, COLTUR Peru, Furlong Incoming amongst others. Propelling the brand's reputation as "the no cruise, cruise**," these independent travel experts will help expand Azamara's portfolio of Land Programs by providing guests with the opportunity to visit over 41 countries and six continents in the next two-years.

From behind the scenes to exploring with locals, Azamara's new selection of land programming will offer an extensive collection of experiences designed to bring guests deeper into the heart of local life, offering exclusivity and insider access from local guides and experts around the world.

All land packages include:

• Most breakfast and a variety of select authentic meals throughout their journey.

• All transfers to/from voyage, airport, and between land tour cities.

• Tour Directors dedicated to ensuring all details are taken care of and that a guest's trip is stress-free.

• Explorations led by local experts, such as geologists, naturalists, sommeliers, astronomers, wildlife trackers, etc.

The various Land Program options include:

AzAmazing Journeys – Intimate, Once-In-A-Lifetime Experiences:

• Carefully curated programs consist of small, intimate group led by expert guides (average group size of 12-18 guests).

• Once-In-A-Lifetime Experiences that indulges all the senses.

• These experiences last three to six days, with the exception of long train journeys.

• Guests will fully dive into local culture through up-close explanations and interactive experiences with local independent specialists including historians, professors and connoisseurs.

• These journeys feature AzAmazing moments, which are off-the-beaten-path experiences, and accommodations in the world's most breathtaking corners, from five-star hotels and castles to boutique inns, luxury lodges, and glamping experiences.

• Land Journeys – Unique Adventures with Like-Minded Travelers:

• These programs allow guests to see cities from different vantage points, and offers a specialized travel experience that reveals both the hidden gems and iconic landmarks of a variety of captivating destinations.

Land Journeys last anywhere from three to six-nights.

• Offer a wider group size filled with like-minded travel enthusiasts.

• Includes accommodations from four to five-star hotels to boutique inns, luxury lodges and more.

Stay Local – An In-Depth Exploration of One City:

• This programming permits cruisers, who have less time to explore but still want to experience a single destination, the opportunity to immerse themselves in the local life of a

• particular city with a two- or three-night stay in the city.

• These experiences offer an intensive crash-course in the city of embarkation or disembarkation, either pre- or post-cruise.

• Taking guests far beyond typical city highlights and immersing them in local life.

• New cities include: Amsterdam, Netherlands; Auckland, New Zealand; Bordeaux, France; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Cape Town, South Africa; Copenhagen, Denmark; Dubai, United Arab

• Emirates; Dublin, Ireland; Edinburgh, Scotland; Hong Kong, China; Lima, (Callao) Peru; Lisbon, Portugal; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Melbourne, Australia; Monte Carlo, Monaco; Mumbai, India; Nice, France; Oslo, Norway; Papeete, Tahiti, French Polynesia; Perth (Fremantle), Australia; Rio de Janerio, Brazil; San Antonio (Santiago), Chile; San Juan, Puerto Rico; Southampton (London), England; Stockholm, Sweden; Sydney, Australia.

AzAmazing Journey Highlights Include:

AzAmazing in Asia: In Search of Orangutan in Borneo

• Environmentally and consciously led, set out on a 2.5-hour speedboat journey deep into the jungle where eco-friendly accommodations will be provided. Guests will have the opportunity to see orangutans as they venture into the Borneo Rainforest, which is one of the few places in the world where people are able to see these magnificent creatures. The excursions will be led by local independent naturalists who will introduce travellers to the MariMari people —the area's indigenous people who rarely share encounters with tourists.

AzAmazing in Africa: Micato Safaris – What makes these amazing

• The ultimate safari where guests will experience twice-daily game drives, led by an independent ranger and potentially experience up-close viewing of the Big Five—lions, leopards, African Buffalo, Rhinoceros, African Elephant—at Kruger National Park. Not only will participants have the chance to see the beautiful preserve, they will also visit the South African winelands, river cruise on the Zambezi River, expect hippos and Nile crocodiles; and railway journey to iconic Victoria Falls for an optional helicopter flight for a bird's eye view. Luxury is certain, with stays that range from the Four Seasons to the Kapama River Lodge.

AzAmazing in South America: The Bolivian Salt Flats and Atacama Desert of Chile

• A scarce landscape often compared to "outer space destinations," the Bolivian Salt Flats and Atacama Desert of Chile, are perhaps the most arid locations on earth. Guests will experience "glamping" for two-nights in a deluxe airstream camper set amongst the salt flats, accompanied by the culinary talents of an independent local chef. In Chile, guests will indulge in a luxurious stay at the Atacama Desert Resort, which offers village visits and desert hiking.

AzAmazing in Australia: Rail & Sail Australia – Indian Pacific

• Experience Australia's stunning interior, on a train ride with Indian Pacific, through the country's rugged Blue Mountains. Traveling with the privileges of Platinum Service status—oversized cabins, nearly twice the size of others with ambrosial food and wine pairings exclusive to this service—guests will journey through the footsteps of legendary adventures, goldrush prospectors and bush pioneers. After this luxurious train journey, guests will spend a night in the Margaret River wine country, which produces over 20 percent of Australia's premium wine market.

AzAmazing in Europe: Moscow & Ekaterinburg

• Discover Russia's capital of Moscow, where guests will explore the city's highlights like the Armory at the Kremlin – one of the oldest museums in Moscow that is home to Western European and Eastern applied arts spanning from the 5th and 20th centuries – and locales such as Arbat Street – one of the oldest surviving streets in Moscow – before venturing out to Sergiev Posad to see the Holy Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius and Krasnogorskaya Square. Journey to Yekaterinburg – located Asian side of the boundary between Asia and Europe – by train, offering views of dense forests and wooden villages. A highlight of the program is "The Last Footsteps of the Tsars," which features a unique look at the Romanov family and Russia's tumultuous journey from monarchy to communism and the democracy.

Land Journey Highlights Include:

Land Journey in Europe: Norway En Route

• Starting in Oslo, guests will journey by train to Bergen, Norway's second largest city, across one of Europe's highest mountain plateaus. Making a detour in Myrdal, guests will board the Flåm Railway and experience stunning views of the seven fjords and mountains. Once in Bergen, there will be a ferry that will take individuals to Stavanger, where guests can choose to hike Preikestolen, known as the "pulupit rock," or spend time at the Maritime Museum and the Norwegian Fish Canning Museum.

Land Journey in South America: In Search of Jaguar: Pantanal

• Taking place over the course of two and a half days in Brazil's verdant Pantanal region, guests on the Pantanal Safari will have the chance to spot the area's native jaguars and other exotic creatures such as howler monkeys and black vultures. On the water, nature enthusiasts guided by an expert will delve into the area's diverse wetland biosystem, with boat trips in search of stingray and giant otters.

Land Journey in New Zealand: South Island- Alpine Rail & Mount Cook

• Guests can explore the incomparable, majestic landscape of New Zealand and discover its true beauty by railway and helicopter. Travelers will experience panoramic views of the Southern Alps, shores of the Waimakariri River, and native beech forests while on a 139-mile journey aboard the South Island train, which connects Christchurch and Greymouth. Once "sky high" in the helicopter, travelers will fly above Tasman Glacier, New Zealand's longest glacier, before the helicopter touches down gently on the snow in the heart of Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park, home to the highest mountains in the region.

Panama Canal Looking To Raise Fees for Cruise Ships
The Panama Canal this week published a proposal to modify its current tolls structure for the dry bulk, passenger, containership and vehicle carrier and RoRo segments, as well as tankers, chemical tankers, LPG and LNG vessels, the intra-maritime cluster (local tourism segment) and minimum tolls (small vessels). Friday’s announcement marks the beginning of a 30-day formal consultation period for industry feedback, which will close on July 15, 2019.

“With this proposal, we aim to better serve the global maritime industry,” said Panama Canal Administrator Jorge L. Quijano. “Our proposed modifications will increase transparency and flexibility, among other improvements, to ensure the Panama Canal remains competitive and optimal for the industry today and moving forward.”

For the dry bulk segment, the proposal offers matching the tolls charged to Neopanamax vessels carrying iron ore with the tolls assessed for grains and “other dry bulk” cargoes, as well as a tariff increase for Neopanamax dry bulkers transiting in ballast.

The proposal also aims to add transparency to the tolls structure of the passenger segment by charging based on the maximum passenger capacity that can be carried by each specific passenger vessel. To that end, the Canal is proposing to change the unit of measurement from a “per berth” to a “per passenger” basis, making it easier for cruise lines to transfer transit costs to their customers.

For the containership segment—the main user of Neopanamax Locks—the proposed toll modifications will help retain and incentivize increased cargo volumes through the Panama Canal. Specifically, the proposal offers more attractive rates for customers who benefit from the Panama Canal Loyalty Program by adding new levels with reduced rates in the capacity charge for shipping lines deploying between 2 million to 3 million TEUs, and additional reductions for lines deploying an incremental over 3 million TEUs. The incentive implemented in the last toll modification of fiscal year 2018 for total TEU loaded in the return voyage (TTLR) will remain in effect.

To add further transparency to the toll structure for the Vehicle Carrier and RoRo segment, the proposed modifications include—for the first time—a new tariff category or range precisely designed for Neopanamax vessels to account vessels sizes and capacity. Additional modifications for this segment include slight increments in tolls tariffs for Panamax-sized vessels, as well as minor adjustments based on vessel size ranges.

Toll structures for tankers, chemical tankers, LPG and LNG vessels remain unchanged, but tolls adjustments are proposed to more closely align with the value of the route.

Tolls for small vessels (minimum tolls) and for the local tourism market are being revised upwards to take into account the resources used in the transit and the complexity of accommodating these vessels within the locks’ chambers. The last tariff adjustments for small vessels were implemented in 2012.

Lastly—and based on comments submitted by clients during the 2017 public consultation and hearing process—the Canal proposes to review the rates charged to vessels carrying containers on deck, which do not belong to the container shipping segment, to allow for differentiated charges for containers that are empty, dry or refrigerated.

The complete proposal is available at www.pancanal.com/peajes. All interested parties are invited to participate in the consultation process as well as the public hearing to be held in Panama City, Panama, on July 24, 2019 at 9:00 a.m. (local time). In accordance with established rules, the Panama Canal will consider all correspondence received by 4:15 p.m. (local time) on July 15, 2019, as well as comments and opinions presented during the public hearing.

After a careful evaluation and analysis of the comments received, and once any pertinent changes are incorporated in the proposal, the Cabinet Council of the Republic of Panama will officially approve the modifications. The date for implementation of the modifications to the tolls structure is planned for January 1, 2020.

Holland America Line Celebrates Grand Opening of a 99-Room Addition at McKinley Chalet Resort
Holland America Line held a grand opening ceremony for its new luxury guest accommodations at McKinley Chalet Resort Friday, June 14. Officially dedicating the new Ridge View building that opened for the 2019 Alaska cruise season, the ribbon-cutting celebration was attended by Arnold Donald, Carnival Corporation and plc president and CEO; Stein Kruse, chief executive officer of Holland America Group and Carnival UK; Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line; Charlie Ball; executive vice president, land operations and customer service for Holland America Group, and several other staff members, business partners and community members. Also attending were representatives from Alaska State Senators Lisa Murkowski's and Dan Sullivan's offices and Denali Borough Mayor Clay Walker.

The new 99-room addition features the first-ever junior suites at the McKinley Chalet Resort where guests stay on Holland America Line's award-winning Land+Sea Journeys. Fifty-four of the new rooms are luxurious junior suites with balconies, larger living areas and enhanced amenities including heated bathroom floors and a stunning floor-to-ceiling map of Denali National Park and Reserve.

"Holland America Line is continually enhancing our hotel offerings in Denali, and the latest addition of this incredible new building with junior suites offers our Alaska guests some of the best rooms in Denali with stunning balcony views," said Orlando Ashford, Holland America Line's president. "Many of our Alaska cruise guests are seeking premium accommodations and culinary experiences on their land tour just like those on their cruise, so we were thrilled to celebrate the opening of the new Ridge View building at our McKinley Chalet Resort. These new rooms and suites – in addition to the amazing Denali Square we opened a few years ago with dining, shopping, entertainment, fire pits and more – create an authentic and relaxing lodge-resort experience that makes our guests' Alaska trip even more memorable."

The new rooms are an extension of Holland America Line's overland Alaska experience to Denali, which includes the McKinley Chalet Resort hotel and Denali Square, a gathering area to relax, shop, dine and enjoy music and entertainment. The addition is located just west of Denali Square, with views of Mt. Healy and Denali National Park and Preserve.

The new three-story facility, named Ridge View, features junior suites and standard rooms with modern rustic-chic décor. All junior suites have balconies, so guests can enjoy stunning views of the surrounding Alaska wilderness while relaxing on their private deck. The first two floors have central, open-air lobbies with cozy furniture and gas fireplaces. The third floor has open public deck space with tables and loungers so guests can take in the panoramic scenery.

The new rooms are an exciting addition to the McKinley Chalet Resort, Holland America Line's magnificent 68-acre hotel property on the Nenana River. The hotel — featuring guest rooms, dining facilities and extensive walking trails — serves as home base for all adventures in and around Denali National Park, such as the full-day Tundra Wilderness Tour included on most Land+Sea Journeys as well as optional flightseeing, ATV adventures, fly fishing, river rafting right from the hotel property and more. All accommodations feature stylish décor and premium amenities.

Alaska-based companies that worked on the project include general contractor Ghemm Company, Inc., based in Fairbanks. Lead architect Heliotrope is based in Seattle, Washington, and also developed Karstens Public House at Denali Square. Heliotrope worked with the Fairbanks office of Alaskan architectural firm Bettisworth North. Costigan Integrated of Seattle served as project manager.

Steps from the new rooms, Denali Square lies at the heart of Holland America Line's Denali property and is centrally located between the main area of the McKinley Chalet Resort and the riverfront guest rooms.

The largest building in the complex is Karstens Public House, the grand 7,000-square-foot, two-story restaurant showcasing outdoor deck seating and views of the neighboring mountains for dining guests. At the center of Denali Square sits an amphitheater with a covered performance stage and bench seating for guests to enjoy a variety of local shows and ranger talks. Those wanting to quench their thirst or listen to live music can visit Gold Nugget Saloon, home to the Music of Denali Dinner Theater.

Denali Square also features fire pits, outdoor seating, retail shops offering local goods, and an artist-in-residence cabin where Alaska native and local artists display and discuss their works. Walking paths in and around Denali Square show off the property's mountainous landscapes and beautiful setting.

Holland America Line's Land+Sea Journeys combine a three-, four- or seven-day Inside Passage or Glacier Discovery cruise with in-depth overland tours to the Yukon and Alaska's interior.

Holland America Line is the only cruise company to combine must-see sites such as Denali National Park and Preserve — the centerpiece of every Land+Sea Journey — with rare ones such as Dawson City, in the heart of the Klondike Gold Rush Country. Offering up to three days at Denali for wildlife viewing and spectacular scenery, Land+Sea Journeys are designed to highlight the best of Alaska's wilderness, wildlife, native culture and history.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 52.28 - 1.69%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 122.21 - 1.00%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 1.01 - 1.94%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 53.04 - 1.47%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Cunard's Queen Mary 2 has a nightclub named G32. What is the origin of the club's name?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Cunard's Queen Mary 2 has a nightclub named G32. What is the origin of the club's name?

Answer - This was the number that her builders gave her prior to her official naming. QE2 also had the same thing when built, Club 732, her builders number from John Brown Shipbuilders
courtesy of Armand Mantia


Cruise News - June 10, 2019

Royal Caribbean Comments On Cuba Travel Policy Change
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd today noted the U.S. government's policy change on travel to Cuba and provided a range for its financial impact.

On June 4, 2019, the U.S. government announced that effective June 5th, 2019 authorized travel to Cuba under the People-to-People program is rescinded and travel to Cuba via cruise ships is prohibited. Therefore, effective June 5th, cruise ships will no longer be allowed to travel between the U.S. and Cuba.

The company has changed the itineraries for its June 5th and June 6th departures and is determining alternate destinations for future sailings. The company's primary concern is for its guests, and the company is working closely with them to offer alternative destinations and compensation for any inconvenience.

The company estimates that the financial impact of this regulatory change is a reduction to the Adjusted EPS for 2019 in the range of $0.25 to $0.35 per share.

"While the affected sailings impact only 3 percent of our 2019 capacity, the extremely short notice period for this high yielding destination amplifies the earnings impact," said Jason T. Liberty, executive vice president and CFO. "The result of this policy change has created a short-term impact to our guests, operations and earnings; fortunately, we have many alternative and attractive destinations for our guests to choose from."

MSC Meraviglia's First Sailings From North America to Explore Eastern Canada and New England
MSC Cruises' first Meraviglia Class ship launched in June 2017 — hits North American soil for the first time this October, with her debut sailings from the region embarking from Manhattan to explore the best of eastern Canada and New England. Not only will MSC Cruises guests be able to discover two brand new, select itineraries, but also welcome the stunning ship to North America before she makes her way to her new homeport in Miami.

MSC Meraviglia's two itineraries from Manhattan to New England and Canada will embark on October 8 and 18.

• October 8, 2019: 10-night sailing visiting Canadian ports of call including Sydney, Nova Scotia; Corner Brook, Newfoundland; Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island; and Québec City, Quebec for an overnight stay. Prices start at $1,229 per person for a balcony stateroom.

• October 18, 2019: 10-night sailing visiting New England and Canadian ports of call including Bar Harbor, Maine; St. John, New Brunswick; Halifax, Nova Scotia; Sydney, Nova Scotia; Portland, Maine; and Boston, Massachusetts. Prices start at $1,169 per person for a balcony stateroom.

IDYLLIC CANADIAN DESTINATIONS

Guests sailing on board both the October 8th and 18th sailings will visit several highlights of eastern Canada through Nova Scotia, Quebec, Newfoundland and Prince Edward Island. Cruisers will take in the natural beauty of these Canadian hotspots right as the leaves turn to their magnificent fall colors. Destinations and shore excursion opportunities include:

Sydney, Nova Scotia: As the gateway to Cape Breton Island, the area is known for the beautiful natural scenery as well as its rich Gaelic culture. Cruisers can explore the area through the eyes of Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the telephone, by visiting his former home and museum. Or, guests can sail across the Great Bras d'Or, the world's deepest channel, learn about the area's strong Scottish culture and spot local wildlife.

Corner Brook, Newfoundland: The city is surrounded by some of the most beautiful wilderness in the world, along with spectacular ocean and mountain views. Visitors can walk along the Corner Brook stream through rolling boreal landscapes and follow in the footsteps of 18th century Captain James Cook. For an appetizing experience, savor local flavors of locally caught, fresh fish while learning about the native cultures that shaped Newfoundland.

Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island: As the capital of Prince Edward Island, Charlottetown is a city with a vibrant history, including a magical connection to the literary classic, Anne of Green Gables. Visitors can opt for a drive along the southern shore and admire the rolling landscape, enjoy a mouthwatering lobster lunch, or take in the history on a horse-drawn trolley.

Québec City, Quebec: As a UNESCO World Heritage site, Québec City draws visitors worldwide to its innate charm. In Old Québec, guests will discover a world seemingly taken from a European painting. The streets lined 17th- and 18th-century buildings are riddled with bakers, bistros and boutiques, with breaks of cobbled squares filled with cafe tables. Cruisers can also journey to the countryside for quintessential tea with scenic views and a stop by the majestic Montmorency Falls for a photo. Those looking for adventure can even take an 8-mile bike ride to the falls, passing the Québec Yacht Harbor, crossing the Saint Charles River, and more.

St. John, New Brunswick: There is plenty to explore in one of Canada's oldest incorporated cities, including a unique phenomenon called the Reversing Falls, a set of rapids where the water of the Saint John River flows backwards when the adjacent Bay of Fundy is at high tide. Guests can also stroll through the Old City Market, Canada's oldest farmer's market and the ultimate foodie haven, or learn the art of landscape photography along the shore of the Bay of Fundy.

Halifax, Nova Scotia: Nova Scotia's picturesque capital is a bustling business center with a flourishing public garden and waterfront boardwalk. Visitors can enjoy easy access hot spots like Peggy's Cove, a small rural community located on the eastern shore of St. Margarets Bay, and Cape Breton Island. MSC Cruises guests can immerse themselves in the area's history, Victorian-era landscaping and tales of 18th century pirates. Guests can also visit Old Town Lunenburg, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and see the area's distinctive architecture and craft stores, or join a local pub tour in true maritime tradition.

CHARMING NEW ENGLAND PORTS OF CALL

MSC Meraviglia's itineraries from Manhattan will also stop in several New England hotspots along the east coast of the U.S. Cruisers will enjoy the charm and vibrant city centers of these coastal towns, while dining on New England favorites.

Bar Harbor, Maine: As the gateway to Acadia National Park, one of America's most visited national parks, Bar Harbor is a charming seashore town with a mountainous landscape, lined with sea-facing cliffs and crashing ocean waves. Cruisers can delight in one of the area's delicacies, Maine lobster, for a special tasting, or take in the Victorian-style cottages in the quaint town. With several tours of Acadia National Park, guests have plenty of opportunity to see the local wildlife and incredible natural landscape.

Portland, Maine: With fishing wharves and converted warehouses full of restaurants and shops, the charming waterfront town is one of New England's bucket list destinations. Cruise guests will have plenty to do, including a guided tour of the area with a boat trip and lunch, a dedicated foodie walking tour to experience the area's down-home cooking, a drive through the area's most famous lighthouses, and more. Guests can even board a lobster boat and sail off to Casco Bay to learn about the famous Maine lobster.

Boston, Massachusetts: The buzzing city and capital of Massachusetts is one of the oldest cities in the U.S. Guests can learn about the area's history and role in the founding of the U.S. by land or sea. Cruise guest can embark on a harbor cruise, sailing past key landmarks. Drive through Boston's cityscape, with highlights like Copley Square and the Old South Meeting House, where the Boston Tea Party began. Those looking to venture out of the city can opt for a tour of Cape Cod, where the Atlantic Ocean meets a shoreline dotted with cottages, sailboats and quaint fishing villages.

After MSC Meraviglia's two round-trip sailings from New York, she will take a 13-night journey through the Caribbean to her new homeport in Miami. Embarking from Manhattan on October 28, 2019, the ship will visit Philipsburg, St. Maarten; Fort de France, Martinique; Bridgetown, Barbados; Saint George, Grenada; Willemstad, Curaçao; Oranjestad, Aruba; and Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve, MSC Cruises' private island destination opening in November 2019.

Seabourn Unveils Veranda, Panoramic Veranda, And Penthouse Suites On New Expedition Ships
Seabourn is giving travelers yet another look at more stunningly designed guest suites on its two new purpose-built expedition ships set to launch in June 2021 and May 2022, respectively. The Veranda, Panoramic Veranda, and Penthouse suite categories are masterfully designed spaces by Adam D. Tihany, that will provide beautiful, relaxing accommodations on Seabourn Venture and her soon-to-be-named sister ship.

The entire all-suite collection on the two ships is defined by comfortable, thoughtfully crafted bespoke furniture, enticing tactile materials and unique details that capture timeless luxury travel in a contemporary and engaging environment designed to elevate every aspect of the Seabourn expedition experience.

"All of our spacious suites provide the expedition traveler with equal parts of adventure together with the best in luxury accommodation and service," said Richard Meadows, president of Seabourn. "Seabourn's suites are created to invite guests to linger longer as we take them to diverse and remote locales around the world."

Elegant design elements such as parchment texture inspired wall panels and curvilinear arches reflect bygone maritime craftsmanship. Custom bedside panels recall luxury travel from another era yet are decidedly current with toggle switches, an analog clock and a fold away reading lamp, perfect for curling up with a custom Seabourn blanket. Guests are drawn into the space with organic shapes, materials like wood and stone, and intricately textured fabrics. Spacious bathrooms with separate shower and bathtub feature luxurious fittings. The ship's art collection, curated to reflect that of a seasoned explorer, will extend beyond public areas into the ship's all ocean front with private veranda suites as well.

Each suite will also have a built-in heated jacket wardrobe, where guests can grab a warm coat before heading out on a cool morning or hang their wet outdoor parkas and other gear to dry quickly once they return from adventures off the ship.

Specific details on each of the suite categories revealed include:

Veranda Suite: The most plentiful suite category found on Seabourn ships, the veranda suite has all the luxuries for guests to make this their home away from home. Veranda suites include a separate seating area with a coffee/dining table for two, which is ideal for in-suite dining at any time of day. A queen-sized or two twin beds, spacious walk-in closet with ample room for a traveler's wardrobe, and sliding glass door leading to a private furnished veranda round out the accommodations.

Total space: 355 sq. ft. (33 sq. m.) including veranda of 78 sq. ft. (7 sq. m.)*

Veranda Spa Suite: These two suites, located on Deck 7, feature the same amenities as the Veranda Suite and include additional in-suite spa amenities and spa concierge service available in conjunction with Spa & Wellness with Dr. Andrew Weil, including a selection of blossoming teas and fresh juices, perfect for guests who enjoy healthy doses of relaxation and rejuvenation.

Total space: 355 sq. ft. (33 sq. m.) including veranda of 78 sq. ft. (7 sq. m.)

Panoramic Veranda Suite: A new for Seabourn suite category featuring a semi-circular living area with comfortable seating and expansive floor-to-ceiling windows providing guests a spectacular perspective of the world outside including sweeping views from their suite. A queen-sized bed or twin beds are also oriented to face the windows, allowing guests to enjoy views of beautiful scenery and gorgeous sunrises and sunsets.

The bathroom features a separate shower and large soaking tub placed next to a window, providing relaxing views to the private furnished veranda and scenic outdoor landscapes.

Total space: 417 sq. ft. (39 sq. m.) including veranda of 85 sq. ft. (8 sq. m.)

Penthouse Suite: Each of the Penthouse Suites, located on Deck 8, affords a sophisticated environment that includes a living area with dining table for two to enjoy in-suite dining at any time of day, high-definition TV, large windows that bring in plenty of natural light, a sliding glass door to the private furnished veranda, and makeup vanity. A separate bedroom that can be closed off from the rest of the suite has its own high-definition TV and is adjacent to a marble-lined bathroom with separate shower and bathtub. Penthouse Suites also come with a convenient Nespresso® machine with a variety of coffee choices.

Total space: 529 (49 sq. m.) including veranda of 96. (9 sq. m.)

Penthouse Spa Suite: The Penthouse Spa suite, located on Deck 7, is the accommodation of choice for the traveler who would like to stay near the onboard spa & wellness facilities. This suite features the same amenities as the Penthouse Suite along with added in-suite spa amenities in conjunction with Spa & Wellness with Dr. Andrew Weil for the guest with wellness in mind, including a selection of blossoming teas and fresh juices.

Total space: 637 sq. ft. (59 sq. m.) including veranda of 205 sq. ft. (19 sq. m.)

*Some veranda sizes vary.

Guests with disabilities will also find handicapped-accessible suites available in both the Penthouse and Veranda categories.

The suites feature several pieces from the custom furniture collection created for the expedition ships by Tihany's product design arm and developed by a leading European furniture manufacturer. The collection is highlighted by crafted details such as wood frames, exposed rivet details and bronze inlays.

For this latest project with Seabourn, Tihany will develop the design vision for public areas and all categories of luxurious guest suites, as well as a bespoke furniture collection. Additional renderings of these spaces can be found in the link here.

All suites on Seabourn Venture and her sister ship will include:

• A personal suite stewardess to ensure everything in your suite is always as you wish

• Private, ocean-front furnished verandas

• Twin or queen-sized bed with a luxurious custom-built mattress, fine cotton linens, fluffy all-season duvet and a choice of firm or soft pillows

• Ample storage and walk-in closets with plush terry robes, slippers and a personal safe

• An in-suite bar with a selection of beverages and requested complimentary wines or spirits

• Interactive entertainment with broadcast TV and hundreds of movie and music choices

• A bath with a full tub, separate shower and luxury products featuring an exclusive signature scent created for Seabourn by Molton Brown, London

• Complimentary PressReader app bringing favorite newspapers and magazines to your phone or tablet

• Unique to Seabourn Venture, Swarovski binoculars for guests to use during the voyage, widely regarded as some of the world's best by expedition travelers, naturalists, and wildlife spotters.

Seven Holland America Line Ships Set to Transit the Panama Canal in 2019-20
It has long been considered one of engineering's most incredible feats, and travelers looking to check a Panama Canal cruise off their bucket list will have 32 Holland America Line sailings to choose from between September 2019 and May 2020. Seven ships will offer 16 unique itineraries, including full transits ranging from 14 to 23 days, as well as 10- and 11-day partial transits that also include southern Caribbean cruising.

While the Panama Canal transit is the centerpiece of the voyage, guests also have the opportunity to explore noteworthy ports throughout the Mexican Riviera, Central America and the beautiful Caribbean. Depending on the itinerary, guests can visit the lush rain forests of Costa Rica's Puerto Caldera; indulge in some leisurely beach combing on warm, sunny Aruba; discover ancient Maya artifacts in Puerto Corinto's archaeological museum; or marvel at the great Maya stone temples of Tikal from Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala.

"Transiting the Panama Canal deeply resonates with any explorer because of the sheer magnitude and power of the experience, and we offer travelers a variety of itinerary choices with a robust season across seven premium ships," said Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line. "The sensation of being raised and lowered through the Canal's legendary locks is inspiring, and whether our guests do it on a full transit from ocean to ocean or a partial through Gatún, it really is one of the world's greatest modern wonders."

Witness Two Oceans in One Cruise on a Full Panama Canal Transit
From September 2019 through May 2020, Amsterdam, Eurodam, Nieuw Amsterdam, Oosterdam, Rotterdam and Volendam will make 16 transits between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans from three departure cities. Guests can conveniently sail to or from Fort Lauderdale, Florida; San Diego, California; or Vancouver, British Columbia.

Each itinerary includes a diverse collection of ports along with the exploration of the Panama Canal. On full transits, guests will visit cities in Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua and islands in the Caribbean. In addition, some of the sailings include a visit to Half Moon Cay, Holland America Line's award-winning private island in the Bahamas known for its pristine beaches, engaging family activities, exciting shore excursions and exclusive beach cabanas.

Explore the Caribbean and Central America on a Partial Transit
In addition to the full transits, Zuiderdam and Eurodam will make 16 partial transits between October 2019 and April 2020. Conveniently cruising roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale, the 10- and 11-day Panama Canal Sunfarer itineraries include an exploration of the Canal's Gatún Lake with a combination of southern Caribbean calls in Aruba, Curaçao, Colombia, Costa Rica, Panama and Half Moon Cay.

Panama Canal Comes to Life with Explorations Central Immersive Travel
Throughout the cruises, EXC programming brings the region's local traditions, culinary tastes and cultural experiences to life on board. Guests who want to learn more about the region can attend an EXC Talk or head to an EXC Port to Table cooking demonstration or wine pairing event. The Dining Room and Lido Market also will showcase the flavors of the region.

During the transit, a local expert is on board providing commentary on the history and building of the Canal. For an up-close view, Holland America Line's spacious open bow observation area gives guests a great platform to watch all the action of a Panama Canal transit, from workers on shore to the electric mules to our hard-at-work crew members.

Panama Canal cruises feature a diverse selection of Shore EXCursions that allow guests to immersively experience each port of call. Tours focus on culture, history, nature, architecture, adventure, culinary topics and family outings. Exclusive culinary-themed Shore EXCursions in partnership with FOOD & WINE magazine showcase the regions' food scenes from a local perspective.

Disney Cruise Line Announces Fall 2020 Itineraries with Holiday Sailings
In fall 2020, Disney Cruise Line will enchant guests of all ages with Halloween and winter holiday celebrations on sailings departing from New York, California, Texas and Florida. The 2020 fall season offers a range of itineraries that will visit a variety of tropical locales, with most sailings featuring that extra-special Disney holiday sparkle.

Halloween on the High Seas returns to Disney Cruise Line in September and October 2020 with spooky good times for the entire family. On select sailings across the fleet, guests are treated to a "mouse-querade" costume party, lively entertainment, ghoulish food and beverage delights, trick-or-treating, seasonal kids' activities, a villainous party just for adults and a ghostly ship takeover with elaborate décor and a magical pumpkin tree.

From early November through December, the Disney Cruise Line fleet is decked from bow-to-stern with holiday cheer and entertainment during Very Merrytime Cruises. Holiday adventures are unwrapped for the whole family with merry parties, a tree lighting ceremony, festive activities, special food and beverage surprises, favorite characters in their finest holiday attire, a winter wonderland ball with Santa and Mrs. Claus, and a flurry of "Frozen" snowfall.

Bookings open to the public June 13, 2019. More details on 2020 itineraries can be found on the Ports and Itineraries for 2020 page of disneycruise.com.

Sailings to Bermuda and Canada from New York

The Disney Magic returns to New York in October for sailings to Bermuda and Canada, all featuring Halloween on the High Seas. Three five-night cruises offer two days in Bermuda, giving guests extra time to indulge in the island's famous pink-sand beaches, abundant water activities, stylish shopping and distinctive blend of British and Caribbean culture.

One five-night cruise will visit Canada's charming seaport cities including Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada's oldest incorporated city, which is home to outdoor activities and an impressive natural phenomenon called the "reversing falls rapids." Guests on this sailing will also visit Halifax, the provincial capital of Nova Scotia. Rich in maritime history, Nova Scotia boasts Victorian-style public gardens and one of the world's largest natural harbors.

Baja and Mexican Riviera Voyages from California

The Disney Wonder sets sail from San Diego in September, with Halloween on the High Seas cruises to Baja and the Mexican Riviera. Baja itineraries of two, three, four and five nights highlight the region's famous beaches and water activities with calls on Cabo San Lucas and Ensenada, Mexico. One seven-night Mexican Riviera cruise, with additional stops in Mazatlán and Puerto Vallarta, completes the southern California sailings. On Nov. 6, the Disney Wonder departs San Diego for a 14-night Panama Canal crossing.

Bahamas and Caribbean Cruises from Texas

From late November through December, the Disney Wonder will make Galveston, Texas, its homeport for Very Merrytime Cruises to the Caribbean and Bahamas, with four-, five-, six- and seven-night sailings. Caribbean itineraries include stops in Costa Maya and Cozumel, Mexico and Grand Cayman. Bahamian cruises feature stops at Nassau, Bahamas and Key West, Florida, as well as Disney's private island Castaway Cay.

Tropical Island Vacations from Florida

In fall 2020, the Disney Fantasy and Disney Dream will sail to the Bahamas and Caribbean from Port Canaveral, Florida. Halloween on the High Seas and Very Merrytime Cruises will delight guests on most sailings.

The Disney Fantasy will sail Caribbean and Bahamian itineraries ranging from three to eight nights, and the Disney Dream will sail three- and four-night Bahamian cruises to Nassau, Bahamas and Castaway Cay. Each of these cruises includes a day of fun in the sun on Castaway Cay, Disney's private island, reserved exclusively for Disney Cruise Line guests.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 53.18 + 4.03%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 123.44 + 2.27%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 1.03 + 10.75%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 53.83 - 0.87%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Cunard's Queen Mary 2 has a nightclub named G32. What is the origin of the club's name?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
How many liners has Cunard named after Queens and what were the names?

Answer - Cunard has had 5 "QUEENS"--Queen Mary, Queen Elizabeth, Berengaria and Queen Victoria--named after British Queens. QE2 was named after the Queen Elizabeth and QM2 was named after the 1st Queen Mary. The new Queen Elizabeth is the 5th Queen named after a "real" Queen.
courtesy of Thomas Mousse, Italy


Cruise News - June 3, 2019

Spectrum of the Seas Celebrates Inaugural Season in China
Spectrum of the Seas, Royal Caribbean International's newest ship, made its highly anticipated debut in China today. The first Quantum Ultra Class ship sailed into Wusongkou International Cruise Terminal in Shanghai after completing a 46-night Global Odyssey that spanned 17 cities. In honor of Spectrum arriving to her new home, the cruise line held a grand naming ceremony with Chinese celebrities and Royal Caribbean brand ambassadors, Xiaoming Huang and Angelababy, in attendance. Honored with the lifetime role of Godparents, the popular couple were on hand to name the ship and bestow a blessing of safekeeping over all those who sail on her.

Spectrum's historic milestone is on the heels of Royal Caribbean's 10th anniversary in China. Building on years of success with Quantum and Ovation of the Seas, the arrival of the largest and most expensive cruise ship in Asia will continue to raise the bar and lead the Chinese cruise industry into a new era.

"Royal Caribbean has always been known for innovating and pushing the boundaries and Spectrum of the Seas is a great example of this," said Michael Bayley, President and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. "Spectrum brings to life the best of Royal Caribbean along with specifically designed and curated experiences for our Chinese consumers."

Custom built for the Chinese market, Spectrum of the Seas features bold and unexpected experiences, including the cruise line's first private enclave for suite guests, new stateroom categories, innovative dining concepts, and stunning features and experiences – many of which have never before been seen at sea.

Spectrum features a two-level, 2,809-square-foot Ultimate Family Suite, accommodating up to 11 guests. The three-bedroom suite features a master bedroom and a bathroom that extends over the side of the ship for unparalleled ocean views, along with two additional suites for grandparents and other family members. Kids have their own kid-friendly space on the upper level, complete with an in-suite slide that will transport them to the living area below. Everyone in the family can enjoy time together in the recreation room, featuring surround-sound equipment for a night of karaoke, movies or video games.

Glowing on the aft of the ship is Sky Pad, a virtual reality (VR), bungee trampoline experience, where guests can strap in, don a VR headset and be transported to another time and planet with three new games: Jump Rally, Sugar Leap and Bass Bouncer. The out-of-this-world experience is for guests of all ages and can be enjoyed without headsets, for those who prefer to look out over the ocean as they leap toward the sky.

The Suite Club on decks 13 through 16 offers Royal Caribbean's first exclusive suites-only area, which features 36 Golden Suites and 106 Silver Suites. The Golden Suites and Silver Suites have exclusive access, elevator, as well as a private restaurant and lounge. In addition to a range of amenities, Gold Suite guests may access The Balcony, a private outdoor space with the best views of the sea; and The Boutique, which can be reserved for private shopping, intimate parties and wine tastings. Travelers in suites are also provided with a dedicated team of Royal Concierges who provide excellent value-added services, including concierge services, Royal embarkation, enhanced food and beverage experiences, and exclusive room service.

On board Royal Caribbean's newest ship are 33 dining options to meet the diverse preferences of its guests. The lineup includes innovative dining concepts such as: Sichuan Red, a brand-new restaurant debuting on Spectrum that features authentic cuisine from the Sichuan province of China; a traditional tea room and café parlor known as Leaf and Bean, where guests can enjoy a range of authentic Chinese teas, classic coffee drinks as well as freshly baked Chinese and Western desserts and pastries; Teppanyaki, offering authentic oriental flavors cooked in Japan's traditional teppanyaki style; Splashaway Café, near the kids' pool area; and the Noodle Bar, which serves up freshly made noodles and live chef demonstrations.

Introduced on the Quantum Ultra Class, the main dining room has been combined into one awe-inspiring, three-level dining room with 1,844 seats. The complimentary venue also serves a variety of Chinese and Western a la carte options that rotate every day of an itinerary. Vacationers looking for a more casual dining venue, the Windjammer Marketplace on Spectrum has been designed to be 20% larger than those on Quantum Class ships. The laidback option offers a wide selection of Chinese and Western dishes.

Three new production shows developed in-house by Royal Caribbean – The Silk Road, The Effectors, and Showgirl! Past. Present. Future. are taking the stage. Each full-scale production features unrivaled talent, immersive technology and unparalleled special effects to create spectacular entertainment experiences. The entertainment doesn't end on stage. Spectrum offers guests a thrilling lineup of activities including Battle for Planet Z, an epic glow-in-the-dark laser tag adventure for the whole family; Star Moment, a lively and energetic karaoke venue where family and friends can sing like stars; Expedition Two70, where guests can test their adventuring skills in four fully immersive augmented reality (AR) games; SeaPlex, the multipurpose indoor sports and entertainment complex that offers activities from various parts of the world including various indoor ball games as well as fencing and archery – activities never before seen at sea in the Asia market.

Spectrum of the Seas features a bold lineup of new digital experiences, from digital room keys and automated stateroom controls, to immersive AR games. The Royal Caribbean mobile app is also available for the first time for guests in China and supports both Mandarin and English language. Designed to seamlessly deliver unprecedented vacation experiences at sea, technology is prevalent throughout the ship, substantially increasing guest convenience and efficiency while offering new experiences that entertain and amaze.

Celebrity Equinox Is First Solstice Class Ship To Be Transformed By The Celebrity Revolution
The newly modernized Celebrity Equinox is officially ready to revolutionize the way travelers experience the beautiful blue waters of the Caribbean. The dramatic transformation — part of THE CELEBRITY REVOLUTION — makes Celebrity Equinox the third ship to be “revolutionized” as part of Celebrity Cruises’ $500 million investment in ship-wide upgrades and breath-taking reimagined spaces, taking the brand’s fleet to the Edge.

“Celebrity Equinox holds a very special place in the hearts of everyone at Celebrity Cruises, and also for our guests; this one-of-a-kind ship continues to be the most awarded in our entire fleet,” said Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, President and CEO, Celebrity Cruises. “Now, emerging from her dramatic modernization, our guests are going to love the new, ‘revolutionized’ Celebrity Equinox even more. There is no better way to experience the Caribbean year-round than on board this stunning ship.”

On the transformed Celebrity Equinox, Caribbean cruisers will enjoy enhancements that include:

• The addition of The Retreat for suite guests, including The Retreat Sundeck, an exclusive sun-soaked hideaway, and The Retreat Lounge (formerly Michael’s Club)

• The awe-inspiring Qsine (formerly Silk Harvest) will feature both the brand-exclusive Le Petit ChefTM and Friends and the original Le Petit ChefTM, two amazing dining experiences developed in partnership with TableMationTM and SkullmappingTM that bring the tabletop to life using innovative 4k technology

• A completely reimagined Passport Bar, perfect for mixing and mingling before and after dinner

• An exciting new creation, Craft Social (formerly Gastrobar), a casual spot featuring more than 40 craft beers, wine and cocktails on tap, mouthwatering comfort food favorites, flat-screen TVs, and inviting leather seating

• Refreshed staterooms and suites ship-wide with stunning enhancements designed with guest comfort in mind, now all featuring Celebrity’s exclusive eXhale bedding collection with luxurious king-sized Cashmere mattresses

• The launch of an exciting new partnership with the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science, featuring S.T.E.M.-focused activations and unique, first-at-sea programming offered as part of the popular Camp at Sea for young cruisers

• The interactive programming focuses on two science topics – one on the identification of and solutions related to microplastics and another on the importance and diversity of plankton to the Earth’s oceans and the environment

• Impressive digital enhancements across the ship, such as the addition of RFID lock technology and pervasive Xcelerate Wi-Fi

• Guests will also now be able to experience the brand’s industry-first facial recognition technology with the implementation of the Celebrity Cruises app, which enables smooth port arrival and expedited boarding, plus additional features including guest-to-guest chat and digital room keys

• Unique new treatments and products offered at The Spa by Canyon Ranch, including three new Signature Couples’ treatments, Dyson Supersonic blow-outs at the Canyon Ranch Blow-Out Bar, Mink and Rapid Lash services, and new customized facials by Reveal Machine, among others

• World-class retail offerings, including John Hardy Boutique, Kate Spade, and a new watch boutique featuring Shinola, Hublot and other Swiss watch brands

Celebrity Equinox’s bow-to-stern modernization began on May 4, 2019, in Cadiz, Spain. There, the ship spent a total of 29 days in the skilled hands of more than 500 engineers, architects, artisans, designers, contractors, shipyard employees, and the newbuild and Celebrity teams.

Celebrity Equinox is just the third revitalization for the brand. Celebrity Silhouette is next, scheduled for completion on January 31, 2020, with five more ships to be modernized by 2023.

Silversea Celebrates Silver Jubilee In 2019
Silversea Cruises passes a momentous milestone in 2019. Since first setting sail in 1994, Silversea has unlocked the authentic beauty of the world for almost half a million guests on approximately 4,100 voyages. Silversea's ships have completed an accumulated total of over 47,800 cruise days, while the cruise line's guests have travelled deeper on a combined total of more than 9.4 million cruise days.

Bringing innovation to the cruise industry with a truly pioneering concept, Silversea was the world's first all-inclusive ultra-luxury cruise line when it launched in 1994. Purpose-built Silver Cloud – the cruise line's first ship, which was unique insomuch as almost all suites included a personal balcony – was christened in Monaco on May 30, 1994, in the presence of HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco. Since then, Silversea's guests have travelled to the world's most remarkable destinations in unparalleled comfort, enjoying personalised service and an intimate atmosphere on board. Many aspects of the cruise line have evolved in the past 25 years, but these core principles have remained and today make a Silversea cruise unique.

When Silversea was founded by the Lefebvre family 25 years ago, the vision was to launch a cruise line that had a truly global reach, in the sense that guests from across the globe would discover the world's remotest and most iconic regions in superlative comfort, with a broad spectrum of destination versatility. This vision has been successfully realised, as Silversea today unlocks immersive travel experiences for guests in over 900 destinations, from pole to pole – more than any other cruise line.

Destination expertise has long differentiated Silversea Cruises, but it was the launch of Silversea Expeditions in 2008 that pushed the boundaries of discovery further than the ultra-luxury industry had previously seen: milestone voyages include Antarctica in 2008; the West Coast of Africa and the Russian Arctic in 2012; Micronesia, Melanesia and Polynesia in 2013; the Galapagos Islands, the Russian Far East, the Kimberley Coast, and the first Northwest Passage crossing in 2014; and Bangladesh in 2017. In 2019, Silversea's guests will traverse the Northeast Passage for the first time, while the cruise line will undertake the world's first ever Expedition World Cruise in 2021. Silversea's destination leadership in more iconic regions, such as the Mediterranean and the Caribbean, also remains as strong as ever and is predicated on deep travel experiences.

From just one ship in 1994, Silversea's guests today enjoy a fleet of nine ultra-luxury, intimate ships—and an additional five ships are on order. Following the launch of Silver Cloud in 1994, Silver Wind doubled the cruise line's capacity in 1995. Silver Shadow and Silver Whisper were launched in 2000 and 2001, respectively. Silver Explorer, the cruise line's first ice-class ship, unlocked expedition experiences around the world for guests from 2008. Silver Spirit joined the fleet in 2009, followed by Silver Galapagos in 2013 and Silver Discoverer in 2014. The cruise line's flagship, Silver Muse, was launched in 2017 and inspired a fleet-wide 'Musification'—the systematic refurbishment of Silversea's ships, which is ongoing. In 2020, Silver Origin - the most elegant ship to ever sail the Galapagos - and Silver Moon will join the fleet, followed by Silver Dawn in 2021 and the first of two Evolution Class ships in 2022.

Fine food from around the world, complimentary drinks throughout the ship, and a butler for each suite are just some of the many luxurious amenities that Silversea's guests have enjoyed since the launch of the cruise line in 1994. Since Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.'s acquisition of Silversea in 2018, these icons of luxury – and many others – have been further enhanced by Project Invictus, a long-term plan to grow and enhance Silversea's fleet of ships: guests enjoy complimentary, chilled champagne in their suites upon arrival and throughout the ship; complimentary sustainable caviar, available 24 hours per day; an enriched offering of canapes, seafood, berries, and fine steak cuts; and an enhanced wine list, which already comprises the largest complimentary offering at sea.

Silversea Cruises is proud to foster a family-like atmosphere and takes the opportunity of its 25th anniversary to recognise its loyal-most guests and crew—each of whom has made it possible to reach this significant milestone. The most loyal of Silversea's guests have each accumulated more than 2,300 Venetian Sail days already, which equates to almost seven years spent aboard Silversea's vessels. At its launch, Silversea began with just 25 land-based employees in Fort Lauderdale; at the end of 2018, there were 2,571 employees—comprising onboard crew and land-based employees in offices around the world.

"I feel so proud when I consider what we have achieved in 25 years," says Manfredi Lefebvre, Silversea's Executive Chairman. "From just one ship in 1994 to a fleet of nine vessels with at least five to come, we will soon realise the vision set out by my father when he brought innovation to our industry and founded our cruise line. I am grateful to our loyal guests, our travel advisors, and to our crew and employees—they have made this great achievement possible. We continuously work to push boundaries of travel; rest assured that this is just the beginning."

"I joined Silversea Cruises in 1994 – almost 25 years ago – when the company was six months old and had only one ship. I've been here ever since," says Fernando Barroso de Oliveira, Silversea's Chairman's Ambassador to the Venetian Society. "I feel at home. And the guests feel the same—we are a family. We want our guests to feel as though they are a part of something special. Our ships are their home away from home, as we've managed to create a wonderful atmosphere on board. A very important part of my job is to socialise with our guests and I have developed strong bonds. In fact, many guests have come to stay with my family and me in Portugal over the past 25 years, and I have stayed with them. Now, when guests come aboard, they ask if certain members of the team – from bartenders to waiters, butlers, and pool stewards – are also on the ship, as our people are as important as the destinations we visit. For me, it's easy to understand why Silversea is so special to so many people: friendliness, luxury, and service."

"I knew a Captain at Silversea and he reached out to me. I'm now in my twentieth year at the company," says Captain Alessandro Zanello, who joined Silversea Cruises in 1999. "At the time, Silversea had a fleet of just two ships, but the feeling on board was different from other cruise lines. There was a strong sense of family – among both the guests and the crew; because the ships were so intimate, there was closer interaction. This remains unchanged today. I actually met my wife on Silver Spirit in 2009, so I attach great sentimental value to the company. It's very special. One of my proudest moments at Silversea was when I got to be Captain of Silver Muse for her inauguration in 2017—I'll never forget this achievement."

Carnival Cruise Line Adds Drinks to HUB App’s ‘Pizza Anywhere’ Feature
Following the successful rollout of Carnival Cruise Line HUB App’s ‘Pizza Anywhere’ feature, the company has expanded this functionality to include beverage delivery. After choosing a hand-tossed pizza with their preferred toppings, guests will be asked whether they would like a beer, soda or water to accompany their meal. To place an order, guests simply tap on the ship’s map to mark their location, take a selfie to identify themselves and select their desired order.

Beverage options on the app include domestic and imported beers Peroni, Miller Lite and Blue Moon; sodas including Coke, Coke Zero, Diet Coke, Diet Sprite; and bottled water, and cooked-to-order pizzas including margherita, funghi, prosciutto, pepperoni and quattro formaggi.

The add-on drink feature is now available on Carnival Conquest, Carnival Liberty, Carnival Glory, and Carnival Sensation, with plans to roll out to Carnival Victory and Carnival Elation in June, and will be available fleetwide in the coming months.

Launched in 2015, Carnival’s HUB App has become the leading app in the cruise industry with a 4.6+ rating in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store and more than 5.7 million total downloads.

HUB App is designed to serve as a one-stop-shop for making the Carnival vacation experience seamless and convenient from beginning to end, allowing guests to track daily happenings on board; view food, beverage and entertainment offerings; chat with family and friends; book shore excursions; and access their Sail & Sign account.

Princess Cruises Announces Summer of Shark Activities Onboard Caribbean Princess
Coming to life again this summer and in celebration of Discovery Channel's Shark Week, television's longest running must-see summer event airing Sunday, July 28-Sunday, August 4, Princess Cruises will once again "sharkify" Caribbean Princess with its Summer of Shark showcased on eight summer sailings, now through July 27, 2019.

As part of the cruise line's Discovery at SEA program, Caribbean Princess will be celebrating sharks all summer with a variety of activities and games that will challenge adults and kids alike on the myths and interesting facts about sharks. Shark Week programming will be available on stateroom televisions, as well as a special premier party with exclusive content available on June 15 in advance of the television airings. Premier content will also be available on 12 other ships sailing in Alaska and Europe.

"Our guests have been captivated by our Summer of Shark programming taking them on a journey to the depths of the sea to uncover the secrets of the ocean's top creature," said Denise Saviss, Princess Cruises vice president entertainment experiences. "With special Shark Week touches found throughout Caribbean Princess from décor to food and beverage, we're thrilled it's become a popular celebration through our exclusive partnership with Discovery."

Children and teens will enjoy shark-themed fun in Camp Discovery youth and teen centers. Kids can turn into their favorite type of shark with glitter tattoos and shark face painting, or create arts and crafts to take home, including shark teeth jewelry and shark clay models. There is even a Family Fun Fair with special activities.

Adults and kids alike can get into the spirit with specialty cocktails and mocktails that have been creatively crafted including a Shark Attack Margarita, tropical Great Blue Shark and mocktails including a Shark Bite or Super Strawberry Shark Chum. In addition, themed food items will also be served, including shark cookies and even shark-themed food carvings on display. Guests of all ages can enjoy custom branded, photo step and repeat backdrops and green screens.

Caribbean Princess was the first ship in the Princess Cruises fleet to deliver Princess MedallionClass vacations. Enabled by OceanMedallion, a complimentary wearable device that elevates the guest experience by delivering enhanced experiences and personalized service resulting in high guest satisfaction scores.

Caribbean Princess sets sail on alternating seven-day Eastern and Western Caribbean cruises roundtrip from Ft. Lauderdale now through July 20, 2019.

Beyond these Summer of Shark themed cruises onboard Caribbean Princess, those looking to have their very shark adventure can book the ultimate adrenaline rush with Animal Planet Exclusive and Recommended excursions such as the Princess Exclusive Great White Shark Diving Encounter in Honolulu or Whale Shark Encounter in La Paz, Mexico.

Airing around the globe, Shark Week is a pop culture phenomenon that thrills fans of all ages with dynamic programming around these often-misunderstood sea creatures.

Cunard Collaborates with Milliner Stephen Jones OBE
With the summer season upon us, luxury cruise line Cunard unveiled a stunning millinery masterpiece designed in collaboration with the legendary milliner Stephen Jones OBE, onboard Queen Mary 2 today.

"There is something truly unique about travelling across the Atlantic onboard Queen Mary 2 for a Transatlantic Crossing. It is an experience that never leaves you and this emotional connection that guests have for this voyage, in addition to Cunard's history, provided the perfect inspiration to create this headpiece," said Jones.

He added: "I wanted to design something that was strong and bold - yet elegant and regal, like a crown. The hat is a nod to the beauty of the sea but also the glamour of ocean travel that Cunard epitomizes. The look and feel is modern and contemporary and could be for the British Social Season. I'm particularly looking forward to seeing the hat being worn at Gold Cup Day, Royal Ascot in a few weeks time."

Jones has incorporated a variety of materials into the headpiece, mirroring the milliner's preoccupation with creating designs that appeal to fashionable women who are confident in their wardrobe choices. Among his clients are members of London society and some of the most legendary fashion houses including Dior.

Jones will headline Cunard's annual Transatlantic Fashion Week which departs New York on July 28, 2019, arriving in Southampton seven days later on August 4, 2019. The hat will be part of Jones' dazzling runway shows on board. In addition, Jones will offer guests insight on his distinguished career via a series of talks and Q&As. He will be joined during the fashion week by other celebrated names in the industry including Stuart Weitzman, Hilary Alexander OBE and Lindy Woodhead.

"The Transatlantic Crossing is our signature voyage and sailing on a Cunard liner has long been synonymous with style and glamour. Stephen Jones is one the most respected and innovative milliners of our generation; his participation in Transatlantic Fashion Week this July 2019 illustrates the distinctive experiences that are found only on Cunard," said Josh Leibowitz, SVP Cunard North America.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 51.12 - 0.95%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 120.70 - 2.41%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.93 - 0.00%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 54.30 - 1.95%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
How many liners has Cunard named after Queens and what were the names?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
If you were departing on a transatlantic crossing from Pier 90 in New York City in the early 1950's, what shipping company would you most likely have been traveling on?

Answer - In the 1950's when you live the pier 90, you were on a CUNARD's Ocean Liner.
courtesy of Thomas Mousse, Italy


Cruise News - May 27, 2019

Carnival Sunrise Officially Named
Following a $200 million dry dock that is already generating raves from guests sailing on its first cruises out of Norfolk, the transformed Carnival Sunrise was officially named today by godmother Kelly Arison – daughter of Carnival Corporation & plc Chairman Micky Arison and his wife Madeleine – in a ceremony at the Manhattan Cruise Terminal in New York City.

As a Carnival godmother, Kelly Arison carries on a family tradition – her mother, Madeleine was godmother to the ship when it first entered service in 1999, and her grandmother Lin Arison served as godmother to Carnival Sunrise's sister ship, Carnival Sunshine, in 2013.

"To be a part of Carnival Sunrise's official naming is more than I could have ever imagined and an experience I'll never forget," said Kelly Arison. "The ship is absolutely beautiful, and I'm so honored to not only carry on my family's legacy as godmother but to also use this opportunity to raise awareness for a well-deserving organization, the Ehlers-Danlos Society."

In a unique twist, the naming of Carnival Sunrise was commemorated with Arison "uncorking" a custom-made, four-foot-high confetti-filled champagne bottle sculpture designed by world-renowned and Miami-based artist Romero Britto. The one-of-a-kind bottle features Britto's signature vibrant colors, bold patterns and elements of cubism, pop art and graffiti, as well as Carnival-inspired designs. Smaller versions of the bottle will be sold onboard with proceeds benefiting the Ehlers-Danlos Society (EDS), an organization dedicated to serving those with joint hypermobility spectrum disorders, of which Arison is a strong advocate. Carnival also made a donation to the organization as part of the naming festivities.

Kathie Lee Gifford, who has had a longstanding 35-year relationship with Carnival, took a moment to address the crowd and extend her best wishes to Arison as godmother, a role that Gifford served for two Carnival ships, Celebration in 1987 and Ecstasy in 1991.

The event included a video featuring players from the Miami Heat, of which Micky Arison is a managing general partner. In the video, Dwyane Wade and Alonzo Mourning, as well as former Miami Heat player and Carnival's Chief Fun Officer Shaquille O'Neal, congratulated Arison.

"The planning for this project began more than two years ago and involved 7,000 people who worked together to deliver this amazing transformation. We are so excited to welcome Carnival Sunrise to the Carnival Cruise Line fleet – she is already winning over our guests and providing so many new ways to Choose Fun," said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. "It has also been such a special and unique opportunity to have Madeleine Arison, who served as godmother at the original delivery of this vessel 20 years ago, pass the honor of serving as godmother to her daughter Kelly during our official naming ceremony today."

As part of a fleetwide $2 billion ship enhancement program, Carnival Sunrise features all of Carnival's popular branded food, beverage and entertainment innovations with new offerings such as Guy's Burger Joint and Guy's Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse, in collaboration with Food Network star and longtime partner Guy Fieri; The Chef's Table fine dining experience; cocktail pharmacy-themed Alchemy Bar; a new WaterWorks aqua park; SportSquare recreation area; and a Serenity adults-only retreat, among many others.

Carnival Sunrise will spend the summer in New York operating four- to 14-day voyages before repositioning to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., for a winter schedule of Caribbean and Bahamian cruises beginning in October. Carnival Sunrise then heads back to New York for another season of cruises beginning in spring 2020.

Costa Cruises Introduces Urban Nordic Walking Tours
Always focused on bringing its guests unique experiences and memorable times, Costa Cruises has introduced a new activity to expand its offer: Urban Nordic Walking, one of the few sports activities suited to everyone, which can be practiced everywhere.

Until September 29, anyone booking a one-week Mediterranean cruise on Costa Fascinosa will have the opportunity to take part in 5 exciting excursions entirely dedicated to 'Nordic walking' in the cities of Naples, Palermo, Ibiza, Palma de Mallorca and Barcelona, to discover these incredible destinations from a different point of view.

Guests traveling aboard Costa Fascinosa now have a chance to enjoy this special activity as part of their cruise, helping them to restore their physical and mental balance. Following the instructions given by qualified Costa Cruises staff, they will gradually learn to make correct use of the poles and adopt the correct posture and biomechanical approach to the walk, quickly mastering the movements. Each participant will be supplied with professional poles, plus a tasty snack and energy drink, so they can truly enjoy the excursion.

In addition to guaranteeing health benefits, the urban trekking excursions made available by the Italian company are a new way to practice responsible and sustainable tourism, including pleasant walks and exciting trails, discovering unmissable natural wonders, majestic cities of art and breathtaking views.

After leaving the port of Savona, Costa Fascinosa will in fact sail to five destinations that provide this special opportunity:

Naples - starting from the picturesque harbor, the walk leads to Porta San Gennaro, the oldest gate to the Vesuvian city, and continues into the Borgo dei Vergini district, famous for its many fabulous and symbolic Neapolitan Baroque monuments. Passing through the Rione Sanità area, founded in the 16th century, the tour ends at the verdant Royal Wood of Capodimonte.

Palermo - walking along the city's narrow streets, among the colorful stalls of the Vucciria market, you'll pass by the marble sculpture of the Genius of Palermo at the Garraffo, continuing to the Quattro Canti. The third and fourth stops along the route are Palazzo Pretorio and the church of Saint Catherine, with its stunning late Renaissance style façade. After walking through the Kalsa quarter, you'll enter the wonderful gardens of Villa Giulia and then end the excursion walking along the Cala, an arched seafront promenade that surrounds to the most ancient port of Palermo.

Ibiza - the 'Nordic' walk starts on the north side of the port, crossing the exclusive Botafoc Marina to reach Talamanca and its marvellously white sand. Walking along the beach, you'll reach Cap Martinet, along slightly steep paths, from which you can enjoy a spectacular view. The last stop is Cala Tranquila, the perfect destination for anyone wanting to relax away from the crowd;

Palma de Mallorca - having reached the starting point, a brisk 3-kilometer walk leads up to Bellver Castle, 112 meters above sea level, one of the greatest examples of Gothic civil architecture in Majorca. After following the circular path around the castle, it's back down to sea level, passing through the green areas of the city and finishing in the heart of the historic center.

Barcelona - starting from the Grec Gardens, the tour climbs up the Montjuïc hill, which stands 177 meters high and offers a wonderful view of Barcelona. Passing through Plaza de España, the tour continues along the most beautiful streets of the city, finally reaching the splendid Mirador del Alcalde viewpoint.

There are very few sporting activities that can boast the same features as Urban Nordic Walking, a complete, healthy and natural activity suitable for everyone: children, young people and the elderly.

The activity does not require any particular athletic preparation and offers great benefits: it is effective for weight loss and posture and promotes blood and respiratory circulation. Furthermore, its benefits are felt in all the body's functions, guaranteeing the greater effectiveness of all its systems.

Finally, an added value is its inseparable link with nature and the surrounding environment: Urban Nordic Walking allows physical exercise and the benefits of Nordic walking to be combined with a curiosity to visit and to learn about the history, art and culture of the area, accompanied by an expert tour guide. It therefore allows you to discover new urban routes with less effort and greater satisfaction, making all its enthusiasts experience the charm of discovery.

All that remains is to grab your poles and set off on a cruise with Costa Fascinosa.

Carnival Sunshine Kicks Off New Year-Round Cruise Program from Port of Charleston
Carnival Sunshine kicked off a new year-round cruise program from the Port of Charleston on Saturday, May 18. Carnival Sunshine replaces Carnival Ecstasy which is being repositioned to Jacksonville.

On its new Charleston-based route, Carnival Sunshine will operate a diverse schedule that includes four- and five-day sailings to the Bahamas, six- and seven-day voyages to Bermuda and the Caribbean, and the first-ever Cuba cruises from Charleston with a series of five-day sailings calling at Havana. There are also longer 10- and 11-day Carnival Journeys sailings that visit spectacular Caribbean islands and offer special onboard programming including local cuisine and entertainment and fun activities like a retro Throwback Sea Day.

Carnival Sunshine is the newest year-round ship ever homeported in Charleston offering a wide range of onboard features and facilities. These include food and beverage options such as Ji Ji Asian Kitchen, Cucina del Capitano family-style Italian restaurant, Fahrenheit 555 steakhouse, the Caribbean-inspired RedFrog Pub and the cocktail pharmacy-themed Alchemy Bar. Outdoor spaces are just as impressive with a stunning three-level Serenity adults-only retreat with its own pool, a suspended ropes course that is part of the expansive SportSquare outdoor recreation area, and WaterWorks aqua park highlighted by dual Speedway Splash racing slides. Carnival Sunrise also offers a huge array of accommodation choices with nearly 500 balcony staterooms and more than 50 suites.

Charleston is an important part of Carnival’s ship deployment strategy in which the line positions ships near large U.S. population bases along the East and West Coasts and the Gulf of Mexico. Carnival sails from 20 different North American homeports providing a convenient and cost-effective means for its guests to get to and from their cruise. It’s estimated that roughly half of the U.S. population is within a day’s drive of a Carnival homeport.

Carnival launched Charleston’s first year-round cruise program in 2010 and the departures attract guests from across the Southeast and other regions. Carnival and other cruise operators generate $131 million in direct expenditures and account for nearly 2,400 jobs and $93 million in wages toward the South Carolina economy.

With Carnival Sunshine repositioning to Charleston, Carnival Ecstasy shifts to year-round departures from Jacksonville, operating four- to seven-day cruises to the Bahamas and Caribbean. In turn, Carnival Elation, previously based in Jacksonville, repositions to Port Canaveral to operate a new four- and five-day Caribbean/Bahamas schedule from the Space Coast.

Royal Caribbean Announces Additional Quantum of the Seas Singapore Sailings For 2021
Royal Caribbean International today announced that one of Asia’s largest and most revolutionary ships, Quantum of the Seas, will add a new homeporting season in Singapore, sailing in the region till April 2021. The additional season of seven months will be the cruise line’s longest ever Singapore deployment for a Quantum Class ship. Sailings onboard Quantum of the Seas for the 2020/21 season will open for sale the week of 3 June 2019.

The announcement was made during a celebration for the arrival of the cruise line’s newest and largest cruise ship in Asia, Spectrum of the Seas. The first in Royal Caribbean’s newest Quantum Ultra class of ships, purposefully designed for the Asia market, her arrival marks the start of Royal Caribbean’s Double Quantum Year in the region, with both Spectrum and Quantum of the Seas sailing from Singapore in 2019.

Royal Caribbean’s Senior Vice President International, Gavin Smith, said that Royal Caribbean’s commitment to bring in two of the world’s largest and most innovative ships in 2019 alone – along with the decision to sustain the presence of a Quantum Class ship in the region till 2021 – underscores Royal Caribbean’s confidence in the region’s thriving cruise industry, with Singapore playing a major role as a cruise hub.

“Royal Caribbean has big ambitions for Asia – and Singapore sits at the heart of our growth in this region. The additional homeporting of Quantum of the Seas in the 2020/21 season announced today will add some 180,000 guests to the Singapore cruising scene, and we are excited for them to experience our world-class, innovative ships.

“We mark a new era of cruising for both Royal Caribbean and the region in 2019. We’re celebrating 50 years of bold innovation as a global brand, and ships like Spectrum of the Seas and our additional capacity with Quantum of the Seas shows that we are poised to continue riding on Asia’s astounding growth. Singapore plays an important role as one of the region’s most significant cruise destinations, and we look forward to growing the cruise industry here and in the region.”

“We are pleased to welcome Royal Caribbean International’s Spectrum of the Seas, and look forward to Quantum of the Seas’ new homeport season in Singapore, both of which add to the diverse cruise offerings in the region. The latest deployments are also a testament to years of strong partnership with Royal Caribbean, and its confidence in the region’s growing demand for cruising as a holiday option,” said Ms Jeannie Lim, Assistant Chief Executive, Policy and Planning Group, Singapore Tourism Board.

Spectrum of the Seas kicks off her inaugural Singapore season this month, with three sailings out of 3 to 9 nights to destinations such as Penang, Kuala Lumpur (Port Klang), Ho Chi Minh City (Phu My) and Hong Kong. She will be based in Shanghai from this June.

The ship comes with first-at-sea features such as Sky Pad, a virtual reality, bungee trampoline experience, and the two-level Ultimate Family Suite with an in-room slide, as well as new innovative dining and entertainment concepts, on top of the iconic Quantum Class favourites, such as the North Star elevated glass capsule, skydiving simulator and bumper cars.

To celebrate the maiden call, plaque exchanges were conducted between Spectrum of the Seas’ Captain Charles Teige and Chairman of Singapore Tourism Board, Mr Chaly Mah, as well as Mr Lionel Wong, CEO of SATS-Creuers Cruise Services Pte. Ltd.

cheduled to return in November 2019, Quantum of the Seas will first see 34 sailings during the six months from November 2019 to April 2020. The ship will then return for a longer season in October 2020, with a total of 40 sailings over seven months till April 2021– the cruise line’s longest ever Singapore deployment for a Quantum Class ship.

The smart ship Quantum of the Seas currently offers the ‘North Star’, an observation capsule that rises 92 metres over the ocean; ‘Two70’ – a hi-tech entertainment venue; cocktails served by robots at the ‘Bionic Bar’; skydiving and surfing experiences; and ‘SeaPlex’, the largest indoor activity space at sea – housing a basketball court, roller-skating, bumper cars and more. The ship also boasts 18 dining venues with cuisines from around the globe, including imaginative cuisine at Wonderland and Jamie’s Italian by celebrity chef Jamie Oliver.

Holland America Line Introduces New EZpay Program
Holland America Line’s new EZpay makes it a breeze to budget for a dream cruise vacation and pay it off over time. EZpay spreads out the cruise balance into equal, interest-free monthly payments leading up to final payment. The plan gives guests the flexibility to pay for their cruise at their own pace, with the ability to opt out at any time without penalty.

Nearly all of Holland America Line’s worldwide itineraries are eligible for EZpay, as long as they are not within the final payment deadline. Following the payment of a cruise deposit, EZpay charges a supplied credit card once a month to pay for the cruise balance in full by the final payment deadline, and there are no additional fees.

“We continually look for ways to enhance our guests’ experience even before they step foot on one of our ships, and EZpay allows the flexibility to pay off their cruise at their own pace,” said Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line. “Cruising is the best vacation value there is, and EZpay makes it possible for our guests to book their dream vacation now and conveniently budget it over an extended period of time.”

Guests can choose the date of the monthly charge and a confirmation is sent following each payment. Extra funds also can be added to a payment, with the remaining balance recalculated into equal amounts.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 51.61 - 1.47%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 123.68 + 0.46%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.93 - 0.00%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 55.38 - 0.91%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
If you were departing on a transatlantic crossing from Pier 90 in New York City in the early 1950's, what shipping company would you most likely have been traveling on?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
If you were departing on a transatlantic crossing from Pier 90 in New York City in the early 1950's, what shipping company would you most likely have been traveling on?

Answer - In the 1950's when you live the pier 90, you were on a CUNARD's Ocean Liner.
courtesy of Thomas Mousse, Italy


Cruise News - May 20, 2019

Oasis of the Seas Set For Royal Caribbean's Largest Amplification Yet
The ship that revolutionized the cruise industry, Oasis of the Seas, marks its 10-year anniversary with a larger-than-ever, $165 million amplification. The first to introduce the unique seven-neighborhood concept and one-of-a-kind AquaTheater entertainment venue, Royal Caribbean International's original gamechanger will set a new standard for family vacations with first-to-brand experiences and the latest Royal Caribbean hits. Guest favorites making their way to Oasis as part of the 63-day modernization include a reimagined, Caribbean-inspired pool deck that will feature a Splashaway Bay kids aquapark and The Lime & Coconut signature bar; famed Quantum Class staple, Music Hall; the Perfect Storm trio of waterslides, and the Ultimate Abyss – the tallest slide at sea. Debuting alongside this lineup is the cruise line's first barbecue concept, Portside BBQ, and dedicated karaoke venue Spotlight Karaoke. The amplified Oasis will set sail on Nov. 24, 2019, beginning 7-night Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries from Royal Caribbean's new, state-of-the-art Terminal A in Miami.

The architectural marvel will break even more records when she heads to the Big Apple in May 2020 as the largest ship to sail from the New York area. Oasis will reposition to her new summer home at Cape Liberty in Bayonne, New Jersey, offering 7-night sailings to The Bahamas with visits to Royal Caribbean's newly transformed private island destination, Perfect Day at CocoCay.

"When Oasis of the Seas debuted as the world's largest and most groundbreaking cruise ship a decade ago, the typical cruise vacation as the world knew it was forever changed. Today, our Oasis Class ships continue to lead the industry and attract vacationers new to cruising," said Michael Bayley, President and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. "Now with the opportunity to disrupt the industry once again, we've gone all-in with our biggest and boldest amplification yet. Oasis will turn heads when she arrives to Miami this November and the Northeast in May 2020."

Iconic Top Deck

For all-day Caribbean vibes, guests need look no further than the reimagined Pool and Sports Zone. The transformed neighborhood will feature new ways to relax, celebrate and plunge into adventure, joining the popular twin FlowRider surf simulators, nine-deck-high zip line and twin rock-climbing walls.

The adrenaline is turned all the way up with heart-pumping additions, including the Ultimate Abyss, a 10-story test of courage and the tallest slide at sea; and The Perfect Storm, an action-packed trio of multistory waterslides known as Typhoon, Cyclone and Supercell. For the youngest, the most thrilling Splashaway Bay at sea yet is to come, with a Splash Pad for tots, three waterslides, water cannons, fountains, pools and the first-ever twin drench buckets.

At the center is the new Caribbean-style pool deck with The Lime & Coconut. The signature bar will be one of the liveliest spots on board, day and night, with poolside cocktails, DJs and live music across two locations. Every pool is only as good as its places to chill, and Oasis will deliver a larger variety of seating and shade, including comfy casitas, daybeds, hammocks and swing seats, new whirlpools on the top deck, and a refreshed Solarium for the adults.

Mouthwatering Dining

The boldest Royal Amplified modernization to-date will introduce various new dining venues that will further diversify Oasis' 23 specialty and complimentary options.

Royal Caribbean's latest culinary creation and first-ever barbecue restaurant, Portside BBQ, will offer an authentic, meat-packed menu inspired by the best-in-class barbecue across the United States. From smoked marbled brisket, pulled pork and chicken, to beef ribs and burnt ends, the casual eatery on the pool deck will tie it all together with classic sides – including mac and cheese, homestyle cornbread, baked beans and coleslaw – and down-home desserts such as the Banana Dream and a brownie cookie mashup.

Across the way, guests can find Mexican grab-and-go fare at El Loco Fresh, serving up made-to-order tacos and burritos, quesadillas, mini salads and salsas galore. Playmakers Sports Bar & Arcade will anchor the lineup in the signature Boardwalk neighborhood. With 80 big-screen TVs, tabletop games, arcade classics, tournaments, an Owner's Box VIP room, bar fare and ice-cold brews, Playmakers is where everyone in the family wins. Sugar Beach, with more than 220 types of candy and a new walkup ice cream window, is the icing on the already-tasty offering on board Oasis, which includes Chops Grille, Giovanni's Table and Izumi.

Chart-topping Hot Spots

Nights out will take on a whole new meaning on board the newly amplified Oasis. The new Spotlight Karaoke on the Royal Promenade is where budding singers can rock out to their favorite tunes at the dedicated karaoke venue's main stage or one of two private rooms.

First introduced on Quantum of the Seas, live music venue Music Hall will make its Oasis Class debut. A roster of live cover bands, an expansive dance floor, pool tables and intimate loungers across two levels give vacationers ample room to end the night on a high note at a place where every seat is the best seat in the house.

Rounding out the list of go-to hot spots is the dynamic duo of robotic bartenders that will mix, muddle, stir and shake cocktails nonstop at the Bionic Bar. The new venues join nightlife favorites on board, including Boleros, Schooner Bar, Blaze Nightclub & Comedy and English pub Atlas & Globe.

Family Time Redefined

Oasis will, yet again, redefine family vacations with a bold combination of programming that brings families together while also providing ways for everyone – from parents, to kids and grandparents – to enjoy time on their own.

Babies, kids and teens are in for a reimagination of their dedicated spaces, enhanced from top to bottom and amplified with technology to offer interactive, personalized and unexpected experiences. Adventure Ocean will receive a total makeover, with newly designed areas organized by activity type and created to fully immerse kids and their families in the adventures they choose based on their interests. Returning offerings include a nursery for the youngest of travelers, and a specialized area with programming for kids 3 to 5 years old. Teens can rejoice in their more off-the-grid hangout. With exclusive features like a "hidden" entrance, gaming lounge, movies, music, and a new, laidback outdoor deck, teens are free to engage however and whenever without interruption.

Adding to the variety of activities, featuring ice skating and mini-golf, Oasis will challenge friends and foes with a new glow-in-the-dark laser tag game, Clash for the Crystal City. Two clans, the Yetis and Snowshifters, must go head-to-head to claim the crystal city and defeat impending extinction. At the new Royal Escape Room – Mission Control: Apollo 18, the year is 1973 and travelers must come together to launch Apollo 18 to the moon by solving every mind-bending puzzle before time runs out.

Oasis of the Seas is the first of the cruise line's renowned Oasis Class – the world's largest cruise ships – to be modernized as part of the Royal Amplified fleet modernization effort. Rooted in research and guest feedback, Royal Caribbean's investment of more than $1 billion in the program spans 10 ships in four years and touches every facet of the guest experience to bring new thrills and signature experiences designed to appeal to every generation.

Seabourn Venture Inaugural Season Itineraries Announced
Seabourn announced this week that between July 2021 and April 2022, Seabourn Venture, the line's first ultra-luxury purpose-built expedition ship will visit a vast number of breathtaking locations and remote destinations in the Arctic and Antarctica, as well as in the Amazon, Caribbean, Central and South America and more, offering guests the unique opportunity to experience ultra-luxury expedition cruising and exhilarating adventures.

The new itineraries include 25 immersive voyages, ranging from seven to 22 days, featuring ample opportunities for travelers to discover diverse wildlife, soak in spectacular scenery and nature, and learn about each region's colorful history and culture. The ship, which offers all ocean front veranda suites, is scheduled to visit more than 150 unique and fascinating destinations across the globe – many of which few travelers have ever been – and over 65 new or notable destinations with a multitude of new and compelling expedition experiences. Additionally, select voyages may be combined to create sailings of up to 30 days in length.

"We have thoughtfully and carefully designed these expedition itineraries to not just visit but also provide the best authentic destination experiences in some of the most interesting and hard-to-reach locations in the world," said Richard Meadows, president of Seabourn. "Along with the ultra-luxury lifestyle we are known for, Seabourn Venture's amazing and immersive voyages will deliver the ultimate ultra-luxury expedition travel experience that our guests will cherish forever."

Highlights of Seabourn Venture's expedition itineraries in 2021 and 2022 include:

The Arctic and Northern Europe
Following the ship's delivery in June 2021, Seabourn Venture will kick off its maiden season in Northern Europe and the Arctic, where guests can explore the seasonal extravagance in the northern polar region, visit Viking ruins, view whales, walrus and seals up close, bike the winding lanes of the outer British Isles, and trek to waterfalls and shining blue-white glaciers.

The ship will embark on a 10-day pre-inaugural "Highlights of the English Channel" cruise departing July 5, 2021, from Lisbon, Portugal, with stops along the northern French coast, England and Belgium before sailing up the River Thames to Greenwich (London), England. The sailing will be followed by a 12-day inaugural "Northern Isles & The Viking Homeland" voyage from Greenwich to Tromso, Norway, departing July 15, 2021, and exploring the beautiful outer British Isles and the majestic Norwegian fjords.

Seabourn Venture will spend the rest of the season through September exploring the Arctic. The ship will sail on five 10- to 15-day voyages in the region, visiting many far-flung locations in Svalbard, the North Cape and other locations in Norway. Other destinations include Iceland; Greenland, and the Canadian Arctic Archipelago in Nunavut, the most remote and least-populated destinations explored during Seabourn Venture's Arctic season.

Among some of the new destinations the ship will visit in the Arctic region are: Scoresby Sound, Greenland, home to the largest and longest fjord system in the world; Sermilik Fjord, located in southeastern Greenland and renowned for the many icebergs that flow from multiple glaciers at its head into the Denmark Strait; Svalbard, Norway, where, if conditions permit, the ship may sail along the edge of the North Polar ice cap, home to diverse wildlife that have adapted to and this unique environment such as polar bears, whales, seals, rare arctic birds and more; and Pond Inlet, Nunavut, the eastern entry to the Northwest Passage and home to narwhals and belugas and a million nesting birds at Bylot Island.

Caribbean, Central America and South America
Following Seabourn Venture's expedition voyages in the Arctic, the ship will make its way south in October 2021, stopping at various exotic locales in Bermuda, the Caribbean, Panama Canal, Columbia, Ecuador, Peru, and Chile. During three 10-to 14-day voyages, there will be opportunities to explore in Zodiacs under teeming bird cliffs, kayak among tropical coral islands, visit ancient Inca sites, and snorkel unspoiled Caribbean coral gardens glittering with iridescent fish.

Seabourn Venture will stop at several new locations in this region, including Pio XI Glacier in the Chilean Fjords, which is the only glacier in Patagonia that is growing – at a rate of 50 meters per day - rather than shrinking, and Jorge Montt Glacier in the Aisén Region of Chile at the north end of the Southern Patagonian Ice Field. Guests may also spend a night in Puerto Natales, where a climb of Dorotea Hill provides a lookout from above that may include a sighting of the majestic flight of the condor that nests on the vertical walls of the hill.

Antarctica
Beginning in November 2021, Seabourn Venture will spend the austral summer season at the southernmost continent. The ship will offer nine exhilarating voyages, spanning 11 to 22 days, and provide the ultimate authentic experience on the Antarctic continent and islands, South Georgia and the Falkland Islands. Guests can experience these amazing surroundings by Zodiac, kayak or even from the unique submarine perspective of the underwater world; view different species of penguins, seals and whales; visit sites of historical and geological interest; gain first-hand insights into regional scientific research; enjoy scenic cruising of spectacular waterways and passages. The exciting schedule features voyages departing from Ushuaia, Argentina, including a 21-day "Ultimate Holiday Antarctica & South Georgia" cruise departing December 14, 2021.

For the first time, Seabourn Venture will call at multiple new locations in the Falkland Islands. These outer, remote and wind swept islands are home to nearly 65 percent of all black browed albatrosses on the planet. Based on the day's weather and most favorable anchorage positions, Seabourn Venture may call at the following islands: the remote Saunders Island, the site of Port Egmont, which is the first British settlement in the Falklands established in 1765; Steeple Jason Island, a remote, protected nature reserve highly prized for its exceptional abundance of wildlife, including the largest colony of black-browed albatrosses on Earth, as well as penguins, southern giant petrels and king cormorants; West Point Island, where guests have the opportunity to meet the Napiers, the island's only occupants whose great uncle established the farm in 1879, and visit the rockhopper penguins, black-browed albatrosses and other wildlife; and New Island, one of the most remote of the inhabited islands, lying on the western fringe of the Falklands Archipelago and supporting some of the largest concentrations and diversity of wildlife in the Falklands, with more than 40 species of nesting birds.

The Amazon
Between March and April 2022, Seabourn Venture will set sail on a series of five seven- to 12-day expedition voyages in the Amazon, where guests cruise in Zodiacs along the Amazon River and visit ancient sites and indigenous Amazon villages. The voyages will explore varying environments shaped and differentiated by the Amazon River itself. These can be divided into three major regions: Flooded Forests and Blackwater Tributaries – Manaus, Brazil to Rio Jutaí; The Frontier Amazon – Rio Jutaí to Leticia, Colombia; and The Seaport in the Jungle – Leticia to Iquitos, Peru.

On April 30, 2022, Seabourn Venture will return to Europe with a 12-day "Western European Waterways" cruise from Praia, Ilha de Santiago, Cape Verde, to Greenwich, England, stopping at the Canary Islands, Morocco, Portugal, France and Belgium. On select itineraries in the Arctic and Antarctica, guests will fly into a designated city where a hotel overnight and charter air to the embarkation port the next day will be included. Similarly, select itineraries will include a charter air flight at the end of the voyage from the disembarkation port to a city where flights are more readily available. These include voyages that begin or end in:
• Longyearbyen, with air to/from Oslo • Kangerlussuaq, with air to/from Reykjavík
• Ushuaia, with air to/from Buenos Aires

Seabourn Venture is scheduled to launch in June 2021, with a second yet-to-be-named sister ship slated to launch in May 2022. The ships are being designed from conception for expedition travel blended with ultra-luxury and personalized service by leading travel experts and seasoned professionals with great depth of experience in expedition, hospitality, and luxury cruising.

Carnival Paradise Rescues Stranded Mariner Off the Coast of Cozumel
Continuing a longstanding tradition of assisting mariners in distress, Carnival Paradise came to the aid of the operator of a small boat that was sinking.

While en route back to its homeport of Tampa, Carnival Paradise was alerted of a small craft in distress with one person in the water while the ship was 13 miles north of Cozumel.

Carnival Paradise reversed course, lowered a rescue boat, brought the mariner onboard and provided food, water and medical treatment. Carnival Paradise personnel coordinated with Mexican authorities to transfer the mariner, a Mexican national, to a ferry boat and take him ashore. He was in good condition.

Carnival Paradise was on a four-day cruise that departed on Thursday from Tampa and returned this morning.

Norwegian Encore Gets Hull Artwork
Continuing the tradition of iconic hull art on its award-winning ships, Norwegian Cruise Line announced today that Norwegian Encore’s has received her hull artwork. The hull design is the work of renowned Spanish artist Eduardo Arranz-Bravo. Set to debut in Miami in November 2019, Norwegian Encore will be the fourth and final ship in the fleet’s Breakaway-Plus class.

A representation of his modern and abstract style, the ship’s hull features a labyrinth of color inspired by Arranz-Bravo’s life by the sea in Barcelona and pays tribute to the vibrant guest experience Norwegian is known for.

“Eduardo’s design will be a perfect complement to the collection of hull artwork within our fleet and is a testament to the dynamic experience our guests will have on board,” said Andy Stuart, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line. “We are proud to welcome him to our Norwegian Cruise Line family.”

Recognized for his inventive and humanistic approach to abstract art, Arranz-Bravo’s work is showcased throughout the world and portrays a constant evolution that some refer to as futuristic. He is highly regarded, having been the recipient of countless awards and accolades, and was one of three artists chosen to represent the 1992 Olympic games in Barcelona.

“Norwegian Cruise Line is a dynamic, pioneering company known for its innovative experiences and breathtaking collection of beautifully designed ships,” said Arranz-Bravo. “I am honored to not only bring that vibrancy to life even more on Norwegian Encore but also showcase my love for the ocean and my hometown of Barcelona.”

Frank Del Rio, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, played a key role in the selection of Arranz-Bravo as the hull artist for Norwegian Encore, having been inspired by his work for many years.

Cunard's Queen Elizabeth Kicks Off Inaugural Alaska Season
Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth kicked off the company’s return to Alaska today in their West Coast homeport of Vancouver. Queen Elizabeth will sail four ten-night roundtrip voyages out of Vancouver in 2019, and ten voyages in 2020, calling at Juneau, Ketchikan, Victoria, Skagway, and more.

To celebrate this inaugural season, Captain Inger Klein Thorhauge, Master of Queen Elizabeth, along with Simon Palethorpe, President, and Josh Leibowitz, Senior Vice President, of Cunard, welcomed aboard dignitaries from the Port of Vancouver for a traditional Plaque and Key ceremony welcoming the ship to the city and exchanging gifts.

It was announced today that during Cunard’s expanded 2020 Alaska season Queen Elizabeth will visit the awe-inspiring Glacier Bay during its 2020 Alaska voyages, with only Cunard offering a selection of 10, 11 and 12 day round trip voyages from Vancouver in 2020 that soak up the majestic and pristine drama of both Glacier Bay and Hubbard Glacier, two jewels in the crown of the region. Sailing to Glacier Bay National Park is an iconic experience, highly rated by cruise passengers and a highlight of Alaska. A designated UNESCO World Heritage Site, Glacier Bay covers over 58,000 acres comprised of vast glacial fjords and peaks, and showcases some of the continent's most awe-inspiring scenery and wilderness.

The 2020 program will run from June-September, offering a variety of nine to 12 nights as well as a getaway cruise to San Francisco for an overnight stay on the 4th of July. The Alaska voyages will feature longer time in ports such as Ketchikan, Victoria, Juneau, Skagway, and others.

In other experiences only to be found on Cunard, guests will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the culture of Alaska with Cultured Heritage Guides on every sailing. For relaxation, guests can indulge in Mareel Wellness & Beauty (Cunard’s new holistic spa concept) on every voyage, offering oceanic treatments and meditation rituals inspired by the wilderness. And as night falls, with the backdrop of Alaska, guests will enjoy the unique sense of occasion with an Ice White Ball in the spectacular Queens Room on every voyage.

“We are thrilled to launch our inaugural Alaska season today in Vancouver,” said Josh Leibowitz, SVP Cunard North America. “Our guests now have the opportunity to sail into this spectacular region with the luxury and style of being on a Cunard ship. With Glacier Bay added to our 2020 Alaska itineraries, our guests will have an even more dramatic front-row seat to witness the immense beauty of the region.”

Carnival Teams Up With World-Renowned Harlem Globetrotters
Carnival Cruise Line announced today an exclusive partnership with the world-famous basketball team, the Harlem Globetrotters, serving as the group's official cruise line sponsor worldwide.

Combining the Harlem Globetrotters' high-flying athleticism, theatrical stunts and comedic acts with Carnival's role as the family cruise leader, the two ambassadors of fun will bring a new level of excitement to more than 150 of the team's shows across the country.

The Harlem Globetrotters' always entertaining exhibition games will be enhanced by Carnival's signature brand of fun through in-game integrations, giveaways and joint marketing efforts such as a designated Choose Fun Zone seating area with branded signage, playful décor, special player interactions and more. This partnership will also provide Carnival with traditional marketing assets to support their charitable partners' initiatives.

To celebrate the partnership, Carnival is launching an exclusive "Trot the Globe" sales event from May 21 – 23 which can be accessed at https://www.carnival.com/.

A video shot on board Carnival Horizon featuring Harlem Globetrotters stars Hammer Harrison and Dragon Taylor showcases the dynamic duo's impressive skills as they make shots from high above Carnival's SkyRide aerial attraction and Lido Deck. The video can be viewed at https://youtu.be/Ke36j-QUMto.

"For more than nine decades, we've used basketball as a means to bring laughter, joy and fun to our fans worldwide," said Howard Smith, Harlem Globetrotters president. "When we heard about the opportunity to partner with cruise industry leader Carnival, we couldn't wait to use our combined love of entertaining audiences to make our games more fun and memorable than ever."

"The Harlem Globetrotters are synonymous with fun, helping families create wonderful memories – and our brands align so well together," said Scott Becher, vice president, head of partnerships for Carnival Cruise Line. "We look forward to seeing how everyone will 'Choose Fun' Globetrotters-style."

Inductees of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and known for their incredible dribbling, shooting and dunking skills as well as their crowd interaction, the Harlem Globetrotters have performed for more than 148 million fans in 124 countries since their inception in 1926. Now performing 400 shows each year, the team has become a worldwide icon and pioneer in the sports industry showcasing some of the best basketball players in the world.

Carnival AirShip Flies Kicking Off Month-Long Aerial Tour Of The Northeast
Carnival Cruise Line's #ChooseFun AirShip is heading east to celebrate the start of summer and the New York debut of the totally transformed Carnival Sunrise, kicking off its month-long tour with an appearance at the ship's official naming ceremony at the Manhattan Cruise Terminal on May 23.

Over the subsequent four weeks, the 128-foot-long AirShip will visit locations across all five New York boroughs, New Jersey and Philadelphia, flying over many popular landmarks and events. AirShip's first week will include visits to Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn followed by classic summer vacation hot spots Fire Island, Coney Island and Staten Island for Memorial Day weekend, and a week in Long Island. AirShip will then spend the first week of June flying over New Jersey before concluding its northeast tour in The Bronx and Brooklyn.

"Seeing how successful our West Coast journey was earlier this year, we knew we had to get the East Coast in on the fun," said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. "We plan to do New York in a big way this summer as we take the region by sea and air with summer sailings of the beautiful Carnival Sunrise and AirShip enticing fun seekers to Choose Fun with a Carnival cruise."

Carnival's AirShip has a bigger and better charitable component than ever before, as well. Encouraging fans to engage with AirShip on social media, for every person who posts a photo of the colorful blimp using the hashtag #ChooseFun, Carnival will make a $10 donation to its longtime charitable partner St. Jude Children's Research Hospital®, up to a maximum donation of $20,000, helping in the ongoing fight against childhood cancer.

Carnival Sunrise will spend the summer in New York operating four- to 14-day voyages before repositioning to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., for a winter schedule of Caribbean and Bahamian cruises beginning in October 2019. Carnival Sunrise then heads back to New York for another season of cruises in spring 2020.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 52.38 - 0.76%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 123.11 + 1.00%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.93 - 6.06%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 55.89 + 1.09%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
If you were departing on a transatlantic crossing from Pier 90 in New York City in the early 1950's, what shipping company would you most likely have been traveling on?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
What was the name of the first ship operated by Norwegian Cruise Line (then called Norwegian Caribbean)?

Answer - The first ship in the NCL (Norwegian Caribbean Line) fleet was the Sunward...not to be confused with the Sunward II.
courtesy of Carlos Ortega, Miami, Florida


Cruise News - May 13, 2019

Celebrity Takes Delivery of the Celebrity Flora
The first ship designed specifically for the Galapagos Islands – Celebrity Cruises’ revolutionary Celebrity Flora – is preparing to embark on its transatlantic journey to its new home in the diverse archipelago following an intimate delivery ceremony.

In honor of the significant moment – a culmination of more than two years of planning and 18 months of construction – Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.’s chairman and CEO Richard D. Fain hosted a ceremony aboard Celebrity Flora, while docked in Rotterdam, Netherlands. Company and shipyard executives were also in attendance, plus more than 70 crew members, many of whom are Ecuadorian natives.

“The delivery of Celebrity Flora is a momentous occasion,” said Fain. “Designing a new ship specifically for the Galapagos Islands was an exciting challenge and we think Celebrity Flora succeeded beautifully. It is of course luxurious – but it’s also the most energy-efficient ship of its kind in the region, which further demonstrates our commitment to sustainability and protecting the vital ecosystem of this unique place.”

“More than two years of planning, collaboration and construction have led to this very exciting moment,” said Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, president and CEO, Celebrity Cruises. “Thanks to the hard work of hundreds of architects, artisans, engineers and more, we’re one step closer to the first-ever sailing of the beautiful Celebrity Flora, which will forever change the way guests experience the Galapagos. Travellers will soon be able to step on board our stunning 100-guest mega yacht with the largest and most luxurious all-suite accommodations in the Galapagos Islands.”

The most energy-efficient ship of its kind in the region, the 100-guest Celebrity Flora was designed specifically to explore the Galapagos. The new ship will feature Celebrity’s signature outward-facing design concept, giving guests 360-degree views of the islands, and all-suite accommodations – including an unprecedented 50% Sky Suites with Infinite Veranda – with service provided by personal attendants. Unique to Celebrity Flora are the first-ever glamping experience at sea, new dining venues, an open-air stargazing platform, expert-led ecological seminars, and custom-designed Novurania yacht tenders, which create a seamless sea-to-shore experience.

Celebrity Flora will have the highest ratio of Certified Naturalists per guest (1:9) in the Galapagos, who will offer travellers an in-depth experience with certification by the Galapagos National Park, recognizing their extensive educational training and commitment to maintaining the pristine nature of these islands.

Celebrity Flora will sail from Baltra year-round, making its first sailing on June 30. Bookings are open for the ship’s alternating seven-night inner and outer loop itineraries and selection of 10-, 11-, and 16-night packages, which feature either pre- or post-cruise expeditions.

Seabourn Unveils Premium Suites On New Expedition Ships
Seabourn, the world's finest ultra-luxury cruise line, has given travelers their first glimpse of the premium suites on its two new ultra-luxury purpose-built expedition ships set to launch in June 2021 and May 2022, respectively. The work of design icon Adam D. Tihany, the Wintergarden, Signature, and Owners Suites are masterfully designed spaces that will provide beautiful and relaxing luxury accommodations on Seabourn Venture and her soon-to-be-named sister ship along with a number of enticing amenities only available to guests who book the Premium Suites category.

The entire all-suite collection on the two ships is defined by comfortable, thoughtfully crafted bespoke furniture, enticing tactile materials and unique details that capture timeless luxury travel in a contemporary and engaging environment designed to elevate every aspect of the Seabourn Venture experience.

Elegant design elements such as parchment texture inspired wall panels and curvilinear arches reflect bygone maritime craftsmanship. Custom bedside panels recall luxury travel from another era yet are decidedly current with toggle switches, an analog clock and a fold away reading lamp, perfect for curling up with a custom Seabourn wool blanket. Guests are drawn into the space with organic shapes, materials like wood and stone, and intricately textured fabrics. Spacious bathrooms with separate shower and bathtub feature luxurious bronze fittings. The ship's art collection, curated to reflect that of a seasoned explorer, will extend beyond public areas into the ship's all ocean front with private veranda suites as well.

Each suite will also have a built-in heated jacket wardrobe, where guests can grab a warm coat before heading out on a cool morning or hang their wet outdoor parkas and other gear to dry quickly once they return from adventures off the ship.

The suites feature several pieces from the custom furniture collection created for the expedition ships by Tihany's product design arm and developed by a leading European furniture manufacturer. The collection is highlighted by crafted details such as wood frames, exposed rivet details and bronze inlays.

"Each of these stylish suites offers a warm, welcoming environment and features thoughtful design touches that create subtle memories of the experience on their own," said Richard Meadows, president of Seabourn. "After a full day of activity, perhaps off the ship with our expedition team taking in nature's splendor, guest suites will be the perfect place to rest or relax before the evening's insightful recap or the next big adventure."

For this latest project with Seabourn, Tihany will develop the design vision for public areas and all categories of luxurious guest suites, as well as a bespoke furniture collection. Additional renderings of these spaces can be found in the link here.

Specific details on each of the Premium Suite categories revealed include:

Two-story Grand Wintergarden suite: Perfect for extended families and friends looking to share their travel experiences, the Grand Wintergarden provides the ultimate in accommodations. A brand new suite layout for Seabourn, this expansive apartment-style suite stretches over two decks and is located midship. Two suites in this category are available on Seabourn Venture, with the entry on Deck 7 opening to seamless double height views and a generous lower level living area that is large enough for entertaining with a dining table for four, separate guest bath, and pantry with wet bar stocked with a customized selection of spirits including a bottle of coveted Shackleton Blended Malt Scotch Whiskey, which is based on the spirit supplied to the 1907 British Antarctic Expedition, expertly crafted using a selection of the finest Highland Single Malt Scotch Whiskies. The lower level also features a second bedroom and bathroom with separate tub and shower.

A sculptured staircase leading to the upper level takes guests to the master bedroom with a queen-sized Duxiana Axion 15 adjustable high-performance sleep system positioned to face expansive windows, allowing guests to soak in the abundant scenery and vistas beyond. The upper level also features an expansive wall of closets, along with advanced technology including a roll-up LG OLED TV that tucks away to preserve the views to the world outside. Guests will find a separate walk-in closet adjacent to the five-piece bathroom complete with a whirlpool spa tub and separate shower.

Wintergarden suite guests will also be able to enjoy wildlife and vista spotting using a Swarovski ATX Interior spotting scope. The tripod-mounted scope, with its 25-60x85 lens capability, is offered for use in-suite while onboard and provides a unique perspective to the world outside via tried-and-tested optics.

The entertainment experience in the Wintergarden suite features a high-end Bang & Olufsen Beolab 5 speaker system and Bang & Olufsen H4 Bluetooth headphones for guest use onboard.

Total space – Grand Wintergarden: 1,397 sq. ft. (130 sq. m.) including two verandas totaling 206 sq. ft. (19 sq. m.)

Wintergarden Suite: The Wintergarden Suite includes the same features as the Grand Wintergarden without the additional bedroom and full bathroom on the lower level.

Total Space – Wintergarden Suite: 1,042 sq. ft. (97 sq. m) including veranda of 128 sq. ft. (12 sq. m.)

Signature Suite: The Signature Suite is the perfect accommodation for the adventurer who prefers an indoor/outdoor lifestyle. Each of these two available suites, located on Deck 8, features a foyer entry opening to an inviting living area with a high-definition TV, dining table for four, guest bath, and pantry with wet bar, while a series of large windows wash the suite with natural light.

The separate bedroom features a queen-sized bed, makeup vanity, generous closet space, and a glass door leading to a large curved veranda that includes its own canopied whirlpool spa tub, sun loungers, sofa, and chairs. A five-piece bathroom with a separate shower and tub rounds out the suite.

Total space – Signature Suite: 1,382 sq. ft. (128 sq. m.) including veranda of 595 sq. ft. (55 sq. m.)

Owners Suite: Located on Deck 7 forward, each of the two Owners Suites on Seabourn Venture offers commanding views of the ship's course and the world beyond. As guests enter, a large closet provides the perfect place to store gear and personal belongings. The suites embrace expedition travelers in a comfortable living area with high-definition TV, writing desk, and dining table for two, perfect for meals in-suite at any time of day. A glass door leads to a curved veranda with sun loungers and a table for four, making it an ideal place to share stories with fellow guests.

The separate bedroom with queen-sized bed has its own high-definition TV, a large window, makeup vanity, and a walk-in closet. The five-piece bathroom is designed with multiple doors that can create a half-bath, and also features a separate shower and bathtub.

Total space – Owners Suite: 1,027 sq. ft. (95 sq. m.) including veranda of 484 sq. ft. (45 sq. m.)

All Suites on Seabourn Venture and her sister ship include amenities such as a personal suite stewardess, walk-in closets, interactive entertainment, and use of Swarovski binoculars.

Carnival Dream, Carnival Valor to Kick Off New Cruise Programs From Galveston and New Orleans, Respectively
Carnival Cruise Line announced this week that it is expanding its short cruise offerings from the region with Carnival Dream repositioning to Galveston and Carnival Valor to New Orleans.

Carnival Valor will launch four- and five-day cruises to Mexico from New Orleans May 11, with Carnival Dream offering a similar program from Galveston beginning May 13, becoming the largest Carnival ships ever to offer year-round short cruise programs from these ports.

Four-day long weekend cruises depart Thursdays and visit Cozumel, while five-day voyages depart Mondays and Saturdays calling at Cozumel and Progreso. Some five-day itineraries from Galveston feature Cozumel and Costa Maya.

Each of these stunning Mexican destinations offer world-class beaches, excellent shopping and dining experiences and opportunities to visit historical attractions and landmarks, including centuries-old Mayan ruins. A wide variety of “fun in the sun” shore excursion choices, from paddle-boarding and ziplining to ATV adventures and watersports like scuba diving and snorkeling, is also available.

Carnival Dream and Carnival Valor offer a wide range of onboard features, including hundreds of balcony staterooms and suites, top-rated children’s programs and captivating entertainment such as the award-winning Playlist Productions shows. There’s plenty of outdoor fun and relaxation as well with deck parties, poolside watering holes like the RedFrog Rum Bar and BlueIguana Tequila Bar, corkscrew water slides and more.

HAL's Westerdam Explores Eight Countries in Asia During 2019-20 Season
The cosmopolitan cities and rich traditions of the Far East unfold for guests on Holland America Line's Westerdam when the ship embarks on its 2019-20 season in Asia. From September 2019 through April 2020, Westerdam extensively explores Cambodia, China, Japan, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam on cruises ranging from 13 to 16 nights.

Departing from Yokohama (Tokyo), Japan; Hong Kong and Shanghai, China; and Singapore, the contrasts between the ancient and the modern come to life as cultures steeped in tradition collide with soaring skyscrapers and bustling capitals. Nine different itineraries showcase the magic of each country and celebrate the histories and trendsetting modern cultures that have been thousands of years in the making.

"For many of our guests, a cruise to Asia is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, so we build our itineraries to include multiple countries or in-depth explorations of an area and create meaningful and deep encounters on every voyage," said Orlando Ashford, Holland America Line's president. "Having such an extensive season allows us to visit those lesser-explored ports that offer an incredible glimpse into local cultures, along with the must-see larger cities such as Hong Kong and Singapore that are equally as memorable and fulfilling."

Westerdam begins the season with a 13-day North Pacific Crossing from Vancouver, British Columbia, to Yokohama (Tokyo). The ship then begins a series of voyages that explore the Far East, from Japan to Singapore.

The 13-day Japan and China cruises from Yokohama to Shanghai include three ports in Japan; three calls in China, including an overnight at Tianjin (Beijing); and one call in South Korea. Westerdam's 14-day Taiwan and Japan cruise from Shanghai to Hong Kong starts with an overnight in Shanghai and includes five ports in Japan; Manila, the Philippines; and two ports in Taiwan, with an overnight in Keelung (Taipei).

Westerdam's 14-day Far East Discovery cruises between Singapore and Hong Kong call at four ports in Vietnam, including an overnight in Da Nang; Sihanoukville, Cambodia; Ko Samui and an overnight at Laem Chabang (Bangkok), Thailand.

The 14-day East Asia cruise is roundtrip from Hong Kong and includes two calls in China, including an overnight in Shanghai; two calls each in Japan and Taiwan; and a call at Manila.

Celebrating the first cruise of 2020, Westerdam embarks on a 16-day Far East Discovery voyage Jan. 16 that follows the same itinerary but adds an overnight in Hong Kong.

Westerdam's 14-day Taiwan and Japan cruise between Hong Kong and Shanghai visits the Philippines, South Korea, two ports in Taiwan and four calls in Japan.

Cruising roundtrip from Shanghai, the China, South Korea and Japan cruise features four calls in China, including overnight calls at Shanghai and Tianjin (Beijing), and two calls each in Japan and South Korea. The China Explorer from Hong Kong to Yokohama includes two ports in Japan and five ports in China, with overnights in Tianjin (Beijing) and Shanghai.

Westerdam's Japan Explorer is a roundtrip Yokohama journey with six additional ports in Japan, including an overnight in Kobe (Osaka), and two calls in Taiwan. Then a Japan and Russia itinerary roundtrip from Yokohama visiting an incredible eight ports in Japan and a northerly exploration up to Vladivostok, Russia. The final cruise of the season is a 16-day North Pacific Crossing on April 25, 2020, from Yokohama to Vancouver.

Royal Caribbean Unveils Entertainment Lineup on Spectrum of the Seas
Royal Caribbean International, the leading largest global luxury cruise ship line has pulled back the curtain on the entertainment lineup for its newest ship Spectrum of the Seas. The signature productions, developed in house by Royal Caribbean, the largest entertainment producer in the world, will feature unrivaled talent, immersive technology and unparalleled special effects to create spectacular entertainment experiences that can’t be found anywhere else in the world.

“Technology is the frontline of entertainment and we are pushing those boundaries on Spectrum of the Seas to create exceptional live performances in our theaters,” said Nick Weir, Senior Vice President, Entertainment, Royal Caribbean International. “We use advanced robotic programming and state-of-the-art digital and audio technology, alongside highly trained, world-class performers and aerialists to create an immersive story and unforgettable show for the whole family.”

Tech-Centered Entertainment in Two70

Two70 will feature next-generation entertainment that seamlessly fuses performance art and technology. With its signature Vistarama technology, which transforms the 270-degree panoramic windows into a projection surface that measures 135 feet wide and 22 feet tall, the iconic venue at the aft of the ship presents spectacular digital art, from iconic city skylines to larger-than-life waterfalls, that takes form in surprise and delight programming. In addition, a troupe of six, agile Roboscreens come to life in perfect sync with music, special effects and multi-talented live performers, to awe guests with stunningly visual shows that can only be seen while sailing onboard Spectrum.

The Silk Road, an original production created by Royal Caribbean International exclusively for Two70, will take center stage on Spectrum. The incredibly rich and diverse cultures, colors, music and visuals of this famous trade route will come to life as guests are taken on a mystical journey. Combined with world-class, state-of-the-art entertainment technology with the Vistarama and Roboscreens, the audience will be transported into this stunning chapter of human history. Headlining the Main Theater

Seating 1,300 guests, the magnificent Royal Theater is home to Spectrum of the Seas’ two new production shows:

• The Effectors introduces guests to four new superheroes with the power to change the world: Captain Coreo, the leader of the pack, has the power to control all forms of movement and motion; Lume, a sassy and dynamic super girl, has the ability to control light, laser and all things visual; Pixel is beautiful, sexy, enigmatic and the most mysterious one of the group who has the total control over video imagery and projection power; Reverb is the most unpredictable and hardest to control, whose power is enormous, as he can control sound and all things audio! The four superheroes unite their powers to fight the evil enemy, Crash, as he tries to stop the show and the world.

• Showgirl! Present. Future. takes guests on the iconic journey of the ultimate entertainer – the Showgirl. Presented in the Royal Theater, the show combines next-generation choreography, incredible vocal performances, lavish costumes, and cutting-edge lighting and video effects to deliver an entertainment experience that will stimulate all senses.

With Royal Caribbean, the entertainment doesn’t end on stage. Spectrum offers guests a lineup of fully produced events, parties and activities.

• Sky Pad – a virtual reality, bungee trampoline experience located on the aft of the ship. Guests strap in and don their VR headset to transport them to another time and planet. Battle for Planet Z – an epic glow-in-the-dark laser tag adventure brings two teams of eight head-to-head in an out-of-this-world adventure to determine who will claim the last planet in the galaxy.

• Expedition Two70 – test your adventuring skills in four fully immersive augmented reality games. Raise temples, blast ruins and more on your quest to recover ancient masks and complete your quest.

• Star Moment – a lively and energetic karaoke venue where family and friends can belt out and sing like stars

• SeaPlex – the largest indoor sports and entertainment complex at sea provides sports experiences from various parts of the world, including China’s national game – table tennis; American style basketball; roller skating originated from Holland; fencing, a popular sport with the upper class of Europe; and modern archery, originated in the UK. SeaPlex also will host new augmented reality walls and floors, providing guests with thrilling, high-tech interactive experiences.

“Entertainment is an important aspect of the vacation experience,” said by Dr. Zinan Liu, President for China and North Asia Pacific Region, Royal Caribbean International. “Royal Caribbean continues to push boundaries, not only in the cruise experience but in our entertainment as well. On Spectrum of the Seas we will launch three new shows simultaneously, plus a series of hi-tech games, interactive experiences and sports facilities, that will provide a distinctive vacation experience for our guests.”

Spectrum of the Seas was designed and built to deliver an unforgettable vacation experience for all guests. The first in the Quantum Ultra class of ships will boast Royal Caribbean International’s first private enclave for suite guests, new stateroom categories, innovative dining concepts, and stunning features and experiences – many of which have never before been seen at sea. Accommodating 4,246 guests at double occupancy and 1,551 international crew members, Spectrum will be the largest and most expensive ship in Asia when she sails from Shanghai starting in June 2019.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 52.78 - 3.77%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 121.89 - 5.64%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.99 - 1.00%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 55.29 - 5.15%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
What was the name of the first ship operated by Norwegian Cruise Line (then called Norwegian Caribbean)?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Which was the first cruise/passenger ship to have fin stabilizers?

Answer - Cunard Line's MEDIA, built in 1948....but the stabilizers were added later
courtesy of Nick Williams, New York City


Cruise News - May 6, 2019

Royal Caribbean Opens $250 Million Private Island In The Bahamas
Unlike any private island the world has ever seen, Royal Caribbean International's highly anticipated Perfect Day at CocoCay – the first in the cruise line's new Perfect Day Island Collection of next-level private destinations around the world – is now open. The $250 million transformation of the line's private island in The Bahamas debuts a combination of first-of-their-kind thrills and one-of-a-kind ways to chill that forever changes what is possible in a vacation destination. From plunging down the tallest waterslide in North America and traveling up to 450 feet in the air in the Up, Up and Away helium balloon, to conquering the Caribbean's largest wave pool, thrill seekers can find plenty of ways to put their courage to the test. For those looking to relax, Perfect Day features the Caribbean's largest freshwater pool, Oasis Lagoon; and pristine, white sand beaches with crystal-clear tropical water, so guests of all ages can create their perfect beach day – no matter what that may look like.

"Royal Caribbean is the proven leader when it comes to pushing the envelope in cruise ship design and the experiences offered at sea," said Michael Bayley, President and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. "With Perfect Day at CocoCay, we are so proud to bring our 50-year legacy of innovation ashore to transform an incredible island that now completely revolutionizes private destinations in the vacation industry. It is exciting to see what we have dreamed up finally come to life; our guests truly are in for an experience unlike any other."

Following a grand opening celebration over the weekend, the new Perfect Day at CocoCay is now offering endless discoveries and shareable moments that make for the perfect combination of experiences. Perfect Day at CocoCay is exclusive to guests of Royal Caribbean. From ports in Florida and the Northeast, vacationers can visit the private island destination by sailing on 11 of the global cruise line's innovative and adventure-packed ships, featuring a series of firsts, such as surfing, skydiving, ice skating and the tallest slide at sea.

Daredevils Wanted at Thrill Waterpark
At the heart of Perfect Day at CocoCay is Thrill Waterpark, daring the most adrenaline-seeking guests to conquer two brag-worthy towers with 13 waterslides – as well as the Caribbean's largest wave pool and the Adventure Pool with a family friendly obstacle course. Key features include:

• Daredevil's Tower – Guests can push their limits on seven exhilarating single-rider waterslides of various heights, including the 135-foot-tall Daredevil's Peak – the tallest waterslide in North America. Additional highlights are the twin Dueling Demon drop slides, launching riders from a vertical position; the Manta Raycers, where friends can race down twin open flume slides; the high-speed, fully vertical Screeching Serpent; and the coiling Green Mamba, a massive aqua tube slide.

• Splash Summit – Adventurous families will share the thrill with six multi-rider slides, including The Slingshot, a zero-gravity slide for four; The Twister, a winding tube slide for two on a tandem raft; and the four-lane Splash Speedway racing slides.

• Wave Pool – Vacationers can ride the tide at the largest wave pool in the Caribbean, where a timer on the back wall counts down to the start of big waves.

• Adventure Pool – This interactive obstacle course on water features floating lily pads, a rock-climbing wall and two swing ropes for guests to bounce, climb and swing to their heart's content.

Above and Beyond with Up, Up and Away
On Up, Up and Away, everyone scores a view unlike any other from a colorful helium balloon securely tethered to the ground by cable. The signature attraction floats up to 450 feet above Perfect Day at CocoCay, allowing guests to take in the island from the highest vantage point in The Bahamas and capture the ultimate selfie with the private island and the pristine blue waters of The Bahamas as their backdrop.

Playing it Cool at Oasis Lagoon
Guests can explore the coves of Oasis Lagoon, the largest freshwater pool in the Caribbean – whether looking to spend time with family, share a few cocktails with friends or simply sit back under the tropical sun. Sunbathers can make their way through three distinct coves, each with a vibe of their own, and swim to the beat of the underwater sound system. Families with small children can splash through water features and jump right into the excitement at the kid-friendly beach entry. On the south side of Oasis Lagoon, pool-goers can sip a frosty Coco Loco at the expansive swim-up bar, catch some sunrays on one of three swim-up islands with in-water loungers, or treat themselves to total relaxation in a private cabana, complete with its own cabana attendant.

Dining Harborside
At Captain Jack's, the island hangout and meet-up spot, guests can grab a drink at the rowboat bar, settle into a rope swing seat or snack on the house specialty – chicken wings and fries dipped in signature sauces like mango-habanero and Caribbean jerk. Live jams and harborside views put vacationers in an island state of mind in no time. For more delicious eats, vacationers can also head to Skipper's Grill for complimentary lunchtime favorites like salads, sandwiches, tacos, burgers, fresh fruit and desserts.

Small Hands on Deck at Captain Jill's Galleon and Splashaway Bay Perfect Day at CocoCay features an array of exciting features for kids of all ages. From three dry slides and 16 water cannons, to rope features and a splash pad, Captain Jill's Galleon is an interactive play structure loaded with swashbuckling thrills.

Splashaway Bay, the coolest aqua park at sea, is breaking out beyond the deck and coming ashore as the largest one yet. Kids can enjoy bigger adventures than ever before with more fountains, sprinklers and geysers – plus two massive drench buckets and five waterslides, including three racers. Located along the harbor between Captain Jack's and Skipper's Grill, this complimentary attraction offers plenty of seating and tables for families.

High-Flying Hangout at the Zip Line
Leave cares on the ground and soar on the 1,600-foot-long zip-line course that crisscrosses the island, beginning near the arrivals plaza and ending across the harbor.

An Out-of-Office Oasis at Chill Island
Miles away from ordinary with pristine, crystal-clear tropical waters and white powder-like sand is Chill Island, the island escape travelers dream about. Chill Grill, the largest dining venue on the island, serves up beachside dining at shaded picnic tables on the sand. Guests can also find beach day favorites here, including snorkeling, jet-skiing excursions as well as plentiful cabanas and daybeds for relaxation under the shade. Add in beach bars with roaming bartenders, and guests will truly wish they lived here.

It's Game on at South Beach
Vacationers can fuel their competitive fire on the action-packed South Beach with volleyball, beachside basketball, soccer and paddle boarding. After working up an appetite, grab a bite at the Snack Shack or wade out to the floating bar to cool off with a drink. If relaxation is the game plan, beachfront cabanas are perfect for lounging in the shade.

Elevating the Perfect Beach Day
Among the final experiences to be completed, Coco Beach Club is set to open in December. Here, travelers will experience an upscale take on the island's authentic Caribbean vibes.

• Overwater Cabanas – The first overwater cabanas in The Bahamas will offer discerning guests a new level of laidback luxury. Each with its own slide into the ocean, overwater hammock, shower and dedicated attendant, the exclusive cabanas will have everything vacationers would want for a day of complete indulgence.

• Infinity Pool – Spanning an expansive 2,600-plus feet, this beachfront infinity pool is at the center of Zen with in-water loungers.

• Club and Deck Area – Beachside cabanas and daybeds will provide a private slice of paradise. Elsewhere, guests can enjoy an exclusive dining venue that serves up freshly made

• Mediterranean fare with a side of ocean views.

Carnival Magic and Carnival Conquest Reposition to Port Everglades and PortMiami, Respectively
Carnival Magic has repositioned from PortMiami to its new homeport of Port Everglades while Carnival Conquest is now sailing from PortMiami. Both ships launched new cruise programs that provide guests with fresh and exciting cruise vacation choices from South Florida.

On their new schedules, these two ships will visit top destinations throughout the Caribbean and the Bahamas, with Carnival Magic operating six- and eight-day cruises and Carnival Conquest offering week-long departures.

Both ships offer a wide range of on-board experiences such as splash-tastic water slides, dining options that range from casual choices like Guy’s Burger Joint developed in tandem with Food Network star and longtime partner Guy Fieri, expansive health and wellness centers and unique beverage concepts like the cocktail pharmacy-themed Alchemy Bar.

When going ashore in tropical destinations, guests can visit centuries-old historical sites, enjoy a variety of dining and shopping opportunities, and, of course, relax on world-class beaches.

Royal Caribbean Marks Construction Milestone For Odyssey of the Seas
Excitement was in the air at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany, today, as Royal Caribbean International marked an important milestone in the development of Odyssey of the Seas. Scheduled to be delivered in fall 2020, Odyssey received its first block as the keel was officially lowered and put into place.

The keel laying marks an important milestone in the development of Odyssey of the Seas, as it signifies the beginning of the ship’s physical construction. During the ceremony, a 79-ton block was lifted into the building dock with an 800-ton crane.

Newly minted coins were placed under the keel, which then stays in place until the end of construction. Once the ship is nearing completion, the coins are retrieved and presented to the ship’s Captain and crew, to be placed on board the ship. According to maritime tradition, the coins are said to bring luck to the ship during its construction and then to its Captain and crew when she is at sea.

Odyssey of the Seas’ deployment and itineraries will be revealed later this year.

Holland America Line Launches Navigator Mobile Phone App Across Entire Fleet
Leveraging technology to further personalize the cruise experience, Holland America Line is expanding the functionality of its popular browser-based Navigator tool into a user-friendly, free app for mobile phones and tablets that can be used on board. iPhone and Android users can download the Navigator app from the iTunes App and Google Play stores, respectively.

Using Navigator, guests can plan daily activities, explore and book shore excursions, view restaurant menus and make dining reservations, view spa treatments, check their account statement and more. Expected to be the most popular feature is the chat function that enables guests to communicate with each other for free while on board.

"The Navigator app makes it easy for our guests to personalize their cruise experience from anywhere on the ship — whether they want to make a reservation at a specialty restaurant, see what the evening entertainment is or create a daily schedule with reminder notifications," said Orlando Ashford, Holland America Line's president. "The most exciting function of Navigator is that it allows our guests to chat with each other for free, which makes it easy to stay connected and make plans with fellow travelers throughout the cruise."

With Navigator, guests also are able to select and save activities to personalize their daily schedule. Those activities appear alongside booked dining reservations and shore excursions, keeping everything easily accessible in one place. Notifications can be set up to send reminders and alerts for reservations, messages and more.

Guests who forget to download the Navigator app prior to embarking can download it once on board free of charge without using internet minutes.

In the coming months, Holland America Line will extend the app offerings for both mobile phones and tablets — currently only available to use during a guest's cruise — to offer pre-voyage access so guests can review available services and check out the interactive fleet map at any time before boarding the ship.

Princess Cruises Continues Activation of MedallionClass Vacations on Six More Ships in 2020
Princess Cruises today announced the expansion of its MedallionClass Vacations to six additional ships in 2020 – Ruby Princess (January 27), Grand Princess (March 29), Enchanted Princess (June 15), Emerald Princess (August 16), Coral Princess (October 16), and Island Princess (December 20) – bringing the enhanced and personalized cruise vacation experience to Australia, New Zealand and a World Cruise for the first time.

MedallionClass Vacations are currently available on Caribbean Princess, Regal Princess and Royal Princess, with Crown Princess starting July 24 and Sky Princess beginning October 12, 2019 when the newest ship in the Princess fleet departs the shipyard as the first to be built from the ground up with the Ocean Guest Experience Platform. By the end of 2020, guests sailing in the Caribbean, Alaska, Panama Canal, Europe, Australia/New Zealand, Mexico, California Coast and on the World Cruise will have the elevated guest experience powered by the OceanMedallion™.

"Our guests who have experienced MedallionClass on Caribbean Princess, Regal Princess and Royal Princess have enthusiastically embraced the OceanMedallion. We are thrilled with the response and working to extend Princess MedallionClass to more guests around the world," said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises president. "Princess Cruises is passionately committed to giving all our guests the opportunity for a more personalized and simplified vacation experience."

The award-winning OceanMedallion is a complimentary wearable device that elevates the guest experience by enhancing guest-crew interactions, eliminating friction points and enabling interactive entertainment to deliver a high level of service and personalized attention on a large scale.

Princess MedallionClass Vacations are resulting in high guest satisfaction scores, thanks to a portfolio of experiences specifically designed to save precious time and enhance their cruise vacation, including:

• Expedited Arrival - From curbside to poolside in a breeze: Guests who arrive at the terminal with travel documents (i.e. passports) uploaded to their profile enjoy a streamlined and expedited check-in process that gets their vacation started even sooner. Personalization starts pre-cruise as guests become OceanReady™ before arriving at the port.

• On-Demand Services - Food, beverage, retail order and hospitality services delivered to your location: Using smart devices, guests have the ability to order drinks, food and retail items like sunscreen with OceanNow and have them delivered directly anywhere on board, including to their stateroom.

• Family and Friends Locator - Finding travel companions and directional ship information: Accessible on portals throughout the ships and via guests' smart devices, OceanCompassTM leverages the OceanMedallion to easily locate and chat with friends and family on board, as well as enables point-to-point wayfinding throughout the ship. OceanCompass guides guests throughout their journey, providing directional information so they can seamlessly navigate to their next point of interest.

Other innovative features of the Princess MedallionClass experience include:

• Keyless stateroom entry: Access to staterooms is a seamless experience where each guest is securely validated as the door automatically unlocks. Personalized greetings, including loyalty level recognition and celebrations, welcome the guest on their door portal.

• Interactive voyage timeline: Available now on ship portals, JourneyViewTM is an interactive timeline that lets guests scroll through all of the events available on board during their voyage.

• Wager-based gaming: On smart devices via Ocean Casino™ and on select portals, guests can wager real money on games including slots, poker, bingo, roulette, keno and lottery from anywhere on board.

• Interactive game play: On portals located shipwide and using smart devices with PlayOcean™, guests can enjoy a new level of fun with interactive games, a digital scavenger hunt, customizable avatars and more. PlayOcean also transforms guests' mobile devices into game controllers for interactive gaming on the massive Movies Under the Stars screen.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 54.85 + 0.77%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 129.17 + 5.63%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 1.00 - 5.66%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 58.29 + 2.12%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Which was the first cruise/passenger ship to have fin stabilizers?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
From March 7 to March 21, 1940, New York city played host to a unique gathering of three of the largest liners ever to sail the oceans. Name these three ships.

Answer - The Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mary, and the Normandie (This is the only time these three ships were together in one port)
courtesy of Chris Kail


Cruise News - April 29, 2019

Celebrity Cruises Announces Three Partnerships Ahead Of Celebrity Flora's Debut
With just 66 days until the official debut of Celebrity Flora, Celebrity Cruises has unveiled three new cutting-edge partnerships for the revolutionary new ship: A world-renowned conservationist turned Godmother, a one-of-a-kind designer with an unmatched vision, and a leading university specializing in marine and atmospheric sciences.

"We are also thrilled to unveil three one-of-a-kind partnerships, which help underscore our passion for protecting this beautiful archipelago," said Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, President and CEO, Celebrity Cruises. "Each of these new partners are helping shape a better tomorrow for our planet in one way or another – whether it's through the research, sustainable material sourcing or conservation – and we couldn't be prouder to be a part of this sea change."

Lutoff-Perlo also added: "These new partnerships are accentuating the already incredible work we've done with our other partners, including the amazing Francesca Bucci of BG Studio International, a New York City hospitality design firm – who designed every aspect of this stunning new ship – and the world-renowned marine scientist and regional destination expert Dr. Ellen Prager – who crafted new and exciting science- and discovery-based programming exclusive to Celebrity Flora."

Naturally, sharing Celebrity's passion for environmental stewardship was the most important factor in choosing a godmother for one of the most eco-friendly ships of its size in the Galapagos Islands. No one was a better match than Yolanda Kakabadse.

Recognized as a prominent environmental leader and a global champion of sustainable development and biodiversity preservation, Kakabadse is a former Minister of Environment for the Republic of Ecuador and a former president of both the International Union for Conservation of Nature and World Wildlife Fund International. Kakabadse is passionate about reducing the economic, social, and environmental impacts of food waste, and is a member of Champions 12.3. She has dedicated her career to leaving the world a better place.

"The Galapagos Islands are an ecological treasure and I am excited to showcase its one-of-a-kind biodiversity through Flora," said Kakabadse. "I am proud to partner with a company that is committed to sustainability in the Galapagos and showing leadership on an issue critical to sustain this beautiful ecosystem, food waste."

As part of Celebrity's more than 20-year repertoire of environmental efforts and inspired by the work of Celebrity Flora's Godmother, the brand is pleased to partner with Kakabadse to further focus on continued efforts to further reduce the any food waste and to create passionate advocates for conservation in every guest who sails.

Located at the intersection of five ocean currents are the lush Galapagos Islands, with their world-famous ecology featuring some of the most diverse flora and fauna anywhere in the world. Understanding how those currents and weather patterns have impacted development of the unique island environment and wildlife is a key part of conserving the one-of-a-kind archipelago for years to come.

With the launch of their newest ship, Celebrity Cruises had the opportunity to blend exploration and research by making Celebrity Flora the first vessel in the Galapagos to be equipped with cutting-edge oceanographic research equipment, known as Oceanscope. The program builds on a more than 20-year relationship with University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science that benefits from a cruise ship's consistent itinerary to create a perfect and cost-effective way for scientists to gather and measure ocean circulation dynamics.

The system will track and map the region while measuring sea-surface temperatures and gathering data critical to research prediction of El Niño and La Niña. All findings gathered by Celebrity Flora will become open source data – globally accessible to research – a first for scientists around the world and anyone with a passion for this information.

"Celebrity Flora's repeated circumnavigations of the Galapagos Archipelago will not only yield data essential to understanding the physical system that has created and maintains the unique Galapagos ecosystem but will be an invaluable contribution to our understanding of the effects of global weather and climate upon eastern equatorial Pacific circulation and regional ocean acidification," said Peter B. Ortner, Research Professor, University of Miami, Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science.

When Celebrity set out to build the first ship designed with the Galapagos in mind, the brand knew it needed to bring on a designer whose aesthetic not only drew inspiration from the region, but who also had a personal connection to this one-of-a-kind destination and would complement the stunning ship design by BG Studio.

Ecuadorian-native Adriana Hoyos was the perfect choice. A renowned interior and furniture designer, Hoyos pulls inspiration from her heritage and her extensive travels and highlights sustainable materials when crafting a new collection. Her one-of-a kind pieces can be found throughout the Discovery Lounge, Penthouse Suites and the Marina, complementing the ship design with local elements that connect to the destination organically.

"The Galapagos have always been a great inspiration for my work. Each island has different elements like the sand, the volcanic ashes, the leaves and all of those textures put together have a place in my furniture. That is why we chose selected pieces to complement the ship' design with local elements that will connect organically to the design of the cruise," said Hoyos. "The ship is unique and Galapagos is a unique place as well!"

One of the most energy-efficient ships of its size in the diverse archipelago, the 100-guest Celebrity Flora is the first ship of its kind designed specifically for the Galapagos. The cutting-edge new ship will feature Celebrity's signature outward-facing design concept, giving guests 360-degree views of the islands, and all-suite accommodations – including an unprecedented 50% Sky Suites with Infinite Veranda – equipped with personal attendants. Unique to Celebrity Flora are the first-ever glamping experience at sea, new dining venues, an open-air stargazing platform, expert-led ecological seminars, and custom-designed Novurania yacht tenders, which create a seamless sea-to-shore experience for guests.

Celebrity Flora will sail from Baltra year-round, making her first sailing on June 30, 2019.

Norwegian Joy Departs For Preview Cruises After Over $50 Million Revitalization
On the heels of an over $50 million renovation to make her almost identical to Norwegian Bliss, her wildly successful sister ship, Norwegian Joy today set sail on the first of two exclusive inaugural preview cruises before her first official sailing out of Seattle to Alaska on May 4, 2019.

The fifteenth ship in the company’s modern fleet of sixteen ships, and the second in the Breakaway-Plus Class, the most successful class in the brand’s history, Norwegian Joy is one of the most innovative in the fleet, featuring industry firsts including an onboard go-kart track, open-air laser tag arena and Galaxy Pavilion, a dedicated virtual reality and gaming venue. She is the only ship in the fleet to offer the Concierge-level stateroom category, which features spacious suites with 24/7 concierge service and private dining. Following the extensive revitalization, Norwegian Joy boasts an enhanced go-kart track and Galaxy Pavilion as well as a variety of new dining and bar venues.

She will offer seven-day Alaska cruises from Seattle with calls to Ketchikan, Juneau, Icy Strait Point and Skagway, Alaska, and Victoria, B.C. Beginning in the fall, she will sail to the Mexican Riviera from Los Angeles, Calif. as well as the Panama Canal from Los Angeles and Miami, Fla. She will cruise to the Caribbean from Miami beginning in 2020.

“We are so happy to bring Norwegian Joy to North America to sail alongside her sister ship, Norwegian Bliss,” said Norwegian Cruise Line President and CEO Andy Stuart. “These preview cruises will allow us to properly showcase this innovative ship to members of the media as well as our travel partners, who will experience firsthand how incredible she is.”

Carnival Sunrise Departs on Inaugural Voyage from Norfolk
Following an extensive $200 million renovation that added a variety of food, beverage and entertainment innovations as well as stateroom upgrades, Carnival Sunrise is making her debut today at Norfolk’s Decker Half Moone Cruise Center.

Carnival Sunrise is kicking off an exciting inaugural season of four- to 14-day voyages that visit destinations in the Caribbean, Bermuda, Bahamas, the Panama Canal, New England and Canada with the first four cruises from Norfolk.

“The introduction of Carnival Sunrise brings an incredibly enhanced ship to our guests with all of the popular features from across our fleet,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. “We couldn’t be more proud to introduce Carnival Sunrise in Norfolk.”

“To be the first port in the United States to welcome Carnival Sunrise makes this a very special event for Norfolk,” said Stephen E. Kirkland, Nauticus executive director. “We’re eager to roll out the red carpet for these guests, and for the staff and crew of this beautiful ship.”

According to a study conducted by the Cruise Lines International Association, Carnival and other cruise operators account for $153 million in direct expenditures, 2,800 jobs and $170 million in wages for the state of Virginia each year.

Part of a fleetwide $2 billion ship enhancement program, Carnival Sunrise now includes popular features, such as:

• Casual F&B options: Poolside venues like Guy’s Burger Joint and Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse, in collaboration with Food Network star and longtime partner Guy Fieri, BlueIguana Cantina & Tequila Bar, RedFrog Rum Bar, as well as upgrades to the Lido Marketplace, an expanded ice cream station, the Java Blue coffee bar and 24-hour Pizzeria del Capitano.
• Specialty dining: The Chef’s Table fine dining experience, the cocktail pharmacy-themed Alchemy Bar, as well as Italian, sushi and seafood options.
• Shopping and Personal Care: A Cherry on Top sweet shop, Pixels photo gallery, expanded retail outlets and renovated fitness and spa facilities.
• Outdoor Decks and Attractions: A new water park with slides and a kiddie splash zone, a Serenity adults-only retreat, and a SportSquare recreation area with ropes course and mini golf.
• Youth & Family Entertainment: Dedicated Camp Ocean, Circle “C” and Club O2 facilities hosting supervised children’s programming for kids 2-17, as well as an arcade.
• Theater & Live Entertainment: The Punchliner Comedy Club in the new Limelight Lounge, Playlist Productions shows in the Liquid Lounge, live entertainment, deck parties, onboard programming and the popular sing-along piano bar.
• Staterooms and Suites: Two redesigned Captain’s Suites and updates to all staterooms.

Beginning May 23, Carnival Sunrise will set sail from New York through mid-October on a series of four- to 14-day voyages. An invitation-only naming ceremony will be held on board prior to the May 23 departure with Kelly Arison, daughter of Carnival Corporation Chairman Micky Arison and his wife Madeleine, serving as the ship’s godmother.

Carnival Sunrise will return to Norfolk in October for two six-day cruises then reposition to Fort Lauderdale for four- and five-day cruises beginning Oct. 28.

Princess Cruises Begins 50th Alaska Season
Princess Cruises 50th year sailing in Alaska began this weekend with the arrival of Ruby Princess into Ketchikan and Juneau. This summer, seven Princess Cruises ships will sail to Alaska with the inaugural season of Royal Princess beginning on May 11.

New programs will be available onboard all Princess Cruises ships sailing in Alaska for the upcoming May through September season, marking the cruise line's largest deployment ever. Royal Princess debut marks the first time a Princess MedallionClass ship will be sailing in Alaska. Powered by OceanMedallion, the most advanced wearable device in the global hospitality industry, delivering a hassle-free, personalized vacation that gives guests more time to enjoy what they love most about cruising.

"We've hosted more guests in Alaska than any other cruise line – more than 5 million over the last 50 years, and this season will be the best one yet," said Lisa Syme, Princess Cruises vice president marketing. "With some sailings still available, think about spending summer vacation experiencing the awe-inspiring beauty of the Great Land with its glaciers and wildlife, create lifelong vacation memories."

As the recognized cruise line leader, Princess offers a variety of cruise and cruisetour options highlighting the state's must-see attractions, including Glacier Bay National Park and Denali National Park. Alaska cruises range in length from seven to 12 days and depart from Vancouver, Anchorage (Whittier), Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Princess also owns and operates five wilderness lodges nestled in scenic riverside locations near National Parks offering more than 20 unique cruisetour options for guests. Princess cruisetours highlight the best of Alaska by combining a seven-day cruise with a multi-night land tour and exclusive "Direct to the Wilderness" rail service – giving travelers a seamless Princess vacation experience in the Great Land.

New for 2019, as part of the Alaska cruisetour offerings, is the grand opening of Fannie Q's Saloon at the Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge. This new restaurant and bar named after famed Alaskan pioneer, Fannie Quigley, will showcase her story and locally inspired dishes in a modern saloon setting, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. Just outside of Fannie Q's Saloon, the new Fireside Patio also debuts with three firepits offering a new gathering place for guests to roast marshmallows, talk about their adventures and have a drink in the midnight sun. Light refreshments will be available for purchase at this new cozy spot. Last, newly named Grizzly Burger offers a fast-casual restaurant serving up the cruise line's award-winning "Ernesto" burger, named "Best Burger at Sea" by Cruise Critic. This uniquely crafted ribeye burger was created exclusively for Princess by burger expert Chef Ernesto Uchimura.

Additionally, an exclusive treehouse experience at the Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge built by Pete Nelson of Animal Planet's Treehouse Masters offers guests the ultimate Denali view in an unforgettable setting.

For this 50th anniversary year, specially-themed offerings are being added to the award-winning "North to Alaska" onboard lineup that brings unique Alaska experiences to life, like Puppies in the Piazza, through local seafood including our popular "Cook My Catch" shore excursion and with real Alaskans coming aboard to share their stories.

Northern Lights Planetarium – Gazing up at the Northern Lights is an unforgettable natural phenomenon. Now, guests have the opportunity to enter the indoor planetarium in the Princess Theater and look up at this aurora, a natural and colorful light display.

McKinley the Moose – Introduced last week, McKinley, "Mac," the moose, is the plush character friend of Stanley, who was first introduced in 2017 as the official bear plush for the cruise line, named after the company's founder Stanley B. McDonald. McKinley, in reference to Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge was named by Princess Cruises Facebook fans. Stanley will be joined by Mac onboard Princess Cruises 2019 Alaska sailings starting in May. Life-size characters will make special appearances for photo opportunities with guests and during entertainment events. Plush Stanley and Mac will be available for purchase on board in The Shops of Princess for $24.95, with a portion of the proceeds from sales supporting PAWS: Princess Animal Welfare Sponsor.

Adventures Ashore – A number of new shore excursions in Juneau, Ketchikan, and Icy Strait Point will be available for guests to truly connect with the local nature, culture and adventures only found in Alaska, including:

• Hubbard Glacier & Wilderness Exploration – Hubbard Glacier
• Luxury Whale Watch by Yacht – Juneau
• Interactive Self-Guided Jeep Adventure – Juneau
• Ketchikan Pub Walk – Ketchikan
• Rainforest Trail Bike & Hike Adventure – Ketchikan
• Seafood Feast & Tribal Dance Show – Icy Strait Point
• Tree Top Adventure Park & Zipline – Icy Strait Point
• Adventure Park & ZipRider Combo – Icy Strait Point
• Wilderness Hike & Kayak Adventure – Icy Strait Point
• Discovering the Birds of Hoonah – Icy Strait Point

Local Guest Speakers – From naturalists, to a "Deadliest Catch" fisherman captain, to a world champion lumberjack and the first female winner of the Iditarod, guests will meet with local experts and hear first-hand how Alaska's unique environment has fueled their lifestyles, passions and professions.

A Taste of Alaska – With fresh menu offerings in the main dining rooms, guests will delight in seafood, such as salmon and crab, and locally inspired dishes.

"Glacier Tea" & Beer Tastings - A new celebratory cocktail will also be served up - a take on a Long Island Ice Tea, topped off with Blue Curacao, similar to the brilliant glacier blue color found in Alaska. For beer lovers, a special Alaska beer tasting flight will be offered, featuring blends from Juneau-based Alaskan Brewing Company.

Historical Alaska Display in the Piazza – Guests will enjoy a mini museum exhibit featuring notable images throughout the 50 years Princess Cruises has sailed to Alaska.

AIDAnova First Ship to be Supplied with LNG in Mediterranean
Germany-based AIDA Cruises brand and numerous representatives from politics, port-related businesses and tourism today celebrated the first-time arrival of the world's first cruise ship powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG) in Barcelona.

Upon arrival in Europe's biggest cruise port, AIDAnova – the newest vessel from AIDA Cruises, Germany's leader in cruising – was fueled for the first time in the Mediterranean with LNG, the world's cleanest burning fossil fuel. Currently, alongside Palma de Mallorca, Barcelona is the second start-and- end destination for AIDAnova's seven-day cruises in the Mediterranean. With Carnival Corporation's partnership with Shell Western LNG B.V. (Shell), the cruise ship will be regularly supplied with LNG at the Spanish metropolis.

Commissioned on Dec. 12, 2008, with four dual-fuel engines and three gas tanks on board, AIDAnova is the world's first cruise ship that will be operated in port and at sea with low-emission liquefied natural gas. Emissions of particulate matter and sulfur oxides are eliminated almost completely, while nitrogen oxides and carbon dioxide emissions are sustainably reduced. Two of the tanks each have a length of around 35 meters, a diameter of 8 meters and a capacity of 1,550 cubic meters. A third, smaller tank with a diameter of 5 meters, is 28 meters long and has a capacity of approximately 520 cubic meters.

It has been over 10 years since Carnival Corporation and AIDA Cruises started investing in LNG propulsion technology. Two additional ships of this new AIDA generation will join the AIDA fleet in 2021 and 2023. Carnival Corporation leads the industry with the adoption of LNG, with a total of 10 next-generation "green" cruise ships able to be powered by LNG in port and at sea on order with delivery dates between 2019 and 2025.

Highlights onboard AIDAnova, which marks an exciting new generation of ships for AIDA Cruises, include new culinary and entertainment offerings such as the Time Machine Restaurant, a street food mile with culinary treats and a floating TV studio. Guests can also enjoy the popular 360-degree Theatrium, the Four Elements adventure deck, complete with three water slides and a climbing garden under the dome of a retractable glass roof and the Beach Club for relaxing on board. AIDAnova also features a 3,500-square meter large wellness area, an outdoor fitness studio, a penthouse suite with two decks, individual staterooms, 17 restaurants and 23 bars.

Until the beginning of November 2019, AIDAnova will be sailing seven-day cruises, calling at some of the Germans' most popular travel destinations in the Mediterranean – Civitavecchia (Rome), La Spezia (Florence), Marseille and Barcelona.

Viking Announces New Egypt Ship
Viking today announced an expansion of its Egypt program for the 2020 season, which will include the launch of a new ship. Inspired by the design of the award-winning Viking Longships and built specifically for the Nile River, Viking Osiris is currently under construction and will double the company's owned capacity in Egypt when it debuts in September 2020. Also launching in the next year are two new Pre-Cruise Extensions designed to enhance guests' base knowledge of Egyptology prior to arriving in Cairo. These five-day extensions to Viking's Pharaohs & Pyramids itinerary will provide guests with Privileged Access to archives and exhibits in London and Oxford that are not normally accessible to the public. This announcement comes as Viking guests continue to express strong interest in Egypt – and just one year after the company launched Viking Ra, a completely renovated vessel and Viking's first owned and operated ship on the Nile.

"Egypt has inspired explorers for generations, and it remains a top destination for many of our guests," said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking. "For more than two decades, we have led the river cruise industry with our fleet development and experiences that bring travelers closer to the cultures of the world. We remain committed to Egypt, and we look forward to introducing the historic treasures of the region to even more Viking guests."

Hosting 82 guests in 41 staterooms, Viking Osiris will be a state-of-the art ship with the clean, elegant Scandinavian design for which Viking is known – and will join the company's other ship on the Nile, Viking Ra, which launched in 2018. Viking is the first and only Western company to build, own and operate ships on the Nile.

Building on the success of the Oxford & Highclere Castle program – Viking's highest-rated Pre/Post Extension that visits "The Real Downton Abbey" – the company has applied the same degree of Privileged Access to two new curated Pre-Cruise Extensions that allows guests to retrace the steps of the world's most famous Egyptologist, Howard Carter, and his benefactor, the 5th Earl of Carnarvon. Guests on the five-day British Collections of Ancient Egypt extension will meet their Viking Tour Director, an expert Egyptologist, in London and experience Privileged Access to two museums: first a private, early morning visit to the Egyptian Collection at the British Museum before it opens to the general public – and then a visit to the home and personal museum of world-renowned architect, Sir John Soane, where the tour will be illuminated by candlelight, a re-enactment of how Soane entertained guests and showcased his exquisite collection of Egyptian antiquities, including a 3,000-year-old Egyptian sarcophagus. Guests will also visit London's Petrie Museum, which houses more than 80,000 artifacts from ancient Egypt and Sudan. In Oxford, guests will visit the Ashmolean Museum, one of the oldest in the world, and home to a varied collection of Egyptian mummies and art – and go behind the scenes at Oxford University's Griffith Institute, where they will enjoy a Privileged Access visit to see Carter's archives, which detail the discovery of Tutankhamun's tomb. Lastly, guests will have an opportunity to visit Highclere Castle – the country seat of the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon – and enjoy an exciting opportunity to view the earl's magnificent private collection of Egyptian artifacts. Guests traveling through April 2020 may opt for the new five-day King Tut & the UK's Egyptian Collections extension, which also includes an opportunity to visit Tutankhamun: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh, a special exhibition at London's Saatchi Gallery that is presented by Viking.

During the 12-day Pharaohs & Pyramids itinerary, guests experience Egypt's cultural treasures in seven destinations. The cruisetour begins with a three-night stay at a first-class hotel in Cairo, where guests can visit iconic sites such as the Great Pyramids of Giza, the necropolis of Sakkara and the Mosque of Muhammad Ali. Guests will then fly to Luxor, where they will visit the Temples of Luxor and Karnak before boarding a Viking river ship for an eight-day roundtrip cruise on the Nile River, featuring Privileged Access to the tomb of Nefertari in the Valley of the Queens, and excursions to the Temple of Khnum in Esna, the Dendera Temple complex in Qena, the temples at Abu Simbel and the High Dam in Aswan, and a visit to a colorful Nubian village, where guests can experience a traditional elementary school. Finally, the journey concludes with a flight back to Cairo for a final night in the ancient city.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 54.43 + 2.56%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 122.24 + 1.56%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 1.06 - 0.93%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 57.08 + 0.85%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
From March 7 to March 21, 1940, New York city played host to a unique gathering of three of the largest liners ever to sail the oceans. Name these three ships.

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
In May of 1972, on voyage number 84, Cunard's QE2 picked up four unexpected passengers during a trans-Atlantic crossing. Who were they, and how did they end up onboard QE2?

Answer - The four unexpected passengers for the QE2 were members of a Bomb Disposal Team parachuted to the ship following a bomb alert.
courtesy of Ian S. Halliday


Cruise News - April 22, 2019

Azamara Club Cruises Announces 2021 and Winter/Spring 2022 Itineraries
Boutique cruise line, Azamara Club Cruises, is thrilled to announce the complete list of 2021 and winter/spring 2022 itineraries. Committed to its Destination Immersion programming, guests can expect over 140 overnight stays around the world; and deepen their discovery of Eastern Europe with expanded itineraries to the Black Sea and Turkey, including overnights in Istanbul and a chance to explore hidden gems including Antalya and Sinop.

"Being a leader in Destination Immersion means staying ahead, which is why we're thrilled to introduce our complete list of 2021 and winter/spring 2022 itineraries," says Larry Pimentel, President and CEO of Azamara Club Cruises. "With our commitment to connect people with culture, our guests can uncover world wonders, including new destinations such as Guayaquil, Ecuador, with an overland expedition to the Galapagos Islands. We will also return to Japan, one of our most popular country-intensive itineraries, which visits marquee ports like Tokyo and Kobe, as well as the remote treasures of Kitakyushu and Kanazawa."

10 Maiden Ports Include:
• Amami, Japan
• Brest, France
• Fraser Island, Australia
• Guayaquil, Ecuador
• Manta, Ecuador
• Milos, Greece
• Pylos, Greece
• Tema (Accra), Ghana
• Warrenpoint, Northern Ireland

In 2021, Azamara more than doubled its overnights in France and Spain since 2015 – examples of shore excursions include:

• Andalusian Gastronomy Experience in Seville, Spain – Among the warm Mudéjar and Gothic style buildings of Seville, guests will learn how to cook like Sevillanos at the Taller Andaluz de Cocina. The Andalusian Cooking Workshop is located near the Mercado de Triano—a historical food market located a short distance from the city's center. An unforgettable experience guided by a local, professional chef, participants will prepare the region's quintessential dishes, later tasting them with the group.

• Nantes/Loire Valley – A returning port for Azamara guests, travelers will experience old-world French culture with a visit to the privately owned, Chateau de Goulaine, which has been home to the Goulaine Family for over 1,000 years. Chateau-goers will marvel at splendors like the 15th century kitchen and winery; a local white wine tasting is included. Immediately after, visitors will drive 45-minutes to Clisson, a town known for its medieval Italian atmosphere and former Middle Ages fortress, Castle of Clisson.

Azamara Travels Deeper into Turkey – highlights of the shore excursion programming include:

• Complete Istanbul, Turkey – Azamara will spend three overnights in Turkey's largest city, providing guests with an action-packed one-and-a-half-day tour. Highlights include a trip to the ancient Hippodrome; St. Sophia Museum, which originated as a church in 360 AD under Constantine; and Topkapi Palace, a great walled complex hugging the shores of the Bosphorus and Golden Horn and also the residence of the Ottoman Sultans.

• Returning Ports: Antalya and Sinop - Azamara will be returning to two of Turkey's hidden gems, Antalya and Sinop. Nestled on the coast of the Mediterranean, guests going ashore in Antalya will discover the world-famous Greco-Roman amphitheater, Aspendos—one of the world's most well-preserved theaters, with seating for 15,000 people, which is still being used today.

Azamara will offer new Grand Voyages where guests can book back-to-back sailings across the globe and receive Onboard Credit for each leg of their voyage plus free WiFi. Azamara's Grand Voyages are designed for guests to opt in for longer sailings by visiting more destinations, connecting with locals and their culture, while simultaneously saving money on their booking. One example of a new Grand Voyage includes: 69-night circumnavigation of South America: Roundtrip out of Miami, starting January 2022, this voyage will give guests an immersive experience of South America, covering 32 countries including Argentina, Brazil, Peru, Chile, Uruguay, Colombia, and sails through Antarctic Sound.

MSC Cruises And Martha Stewart Announce New Partnership
MSC Cruises announced this week that it is partnering with home and lifestyle expert Martha Stewart on new, exclusive culinary and discovery experiences on board and ashore to make MSC Cruises' guests vacation moments even more special and memorable. The partnership — themed Celebrate, Discover, Experience — includes specially curated shore excursions, celebration surprise gift packages, and onboard special holiday dinner menus and recipes.

"MSC Cruises is committed to developing enriching guest experiences and as such we partner with world-class experts in their field to create together something truly unique," said Gianni Onorato, CEO, MSC Cruises. "Martha Stewart's philosophy and passion for discovery is a perfect match for MSC Cruises and we are excited to bring her innovation, style and expertise to life in this special partnership designed to help our guests create memorable vacation moments with friends and family."

"I've always enjoyed introducing people to new experiences, and I'm thrilled to be working with MSC Cruises on a partnership that embodies the true celebratory nature of travel, exploration and discovery," said Martha Stewart. "The excursions showcase some of my favorite activities and help MSC Cruises' guests discover some of the authentic and hidden treasures of destinations throughout the Caribbean. The holiday dinner menus and surprise gift packages encompass what I believe celebrations should include: good food, good company and commemorating great adventures and inspiration wherever we are."

MSC Cruises modern and elegant ships offer guests a distinctive experience inspired by the Company's European heritage. On board guests will enjoy fine dining options with the best of Mediterranean and international cuisines, exclusive world-class entertainment, award-winning activities and facilities for families and children of all ages, luxurious wellness and comfortable accommodations to meet every need. It is through partnerships such as this latest with Martha Stewart that MSC Cruises is able to offer truly unique experiences that can only be enjoyed by MSC Cruises guests. This includes the innovative entertainment concept Cirque du Soleil at Sea, created with world-leader in live entertainment Cirque du Soleil, available on the Meraviglia class ships. MSC Cruises works with six of the world's leading chefs, each representing excellence in their respective cuisine to deliver an international fine dining experience. Last month, the Company launched the world's first virtual personal cruise assistant, ZOE, on board MSC Bellissima, in collaboration with HARMAN, experts in the field of voice-enabled technology having developed audio solutions for technology leaders such as Amazon, Google and Microsoft.

Initially taking place in multiple destinations across the Caribbean, the uniquely curated Martha Stewart & MSC Cruises Excursions focus on some of Martha's passion points and feature a variety of activities, including hands-on culinary classes and tastings of local delights, horseback riding in the ocean, hiking to hidden coves, visits to craft markets, lessons from local fisherman and tours of beautiful gardens. In addition to highlighting key landmarks at a destination, these specially crafted tours truly embody the locals' favorite spots and tell the story of the local culture.

"As MSC Cruises significantly expands its presence in the North American market, we are continually seeking to introduce new offerings in the region that are appealing to the North American traveler," said Ken Muskat, EVP & Chief Operating Officer of MSC Cruises (USA). "MSC Cruises' guests are curious travelers who seek learning opportunities and are looking for authentic experiences that help them travel like a local. In addition to being designed around Martha Stewart's interests, together we created these shore excursions with insight from the local tourism boards to identify the true, hidden treasures of the islands and really provide our guests with an exceptional and rare experience."

For the initial roll-out, excursions will be available at all destinations visited on itineraries served by MSC Seaside and MSC Armonia including: San Juan, Puerto Rico; Nassau, Bahamas; Philipsburg, Saint Maarten; Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, Virgin Islands; Ocho Rios, Jamaica; George Town, Cayman Islands; Cozumel, Mexico; Costa Maya, Mexico; and Roatán Island, Honduras. Starting November 2019, additional excursions will be available in destinations visited by MSC Divina and MSC Meraviglia while sailing the Caribbean. Future roll out will also include an excursion on MSC Cruises' new private island, Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve, which will welcome its first guests in November 2019.

Family Feud Live Takes to the High Seas
Let’s play Family Feud Live! Carnival Cruise Line today announced it will debut the seagoing version of the iconic TV game show Family Feud™ as part of the entertainment lineup on the highly anticipated Mardi Gras, when it enters service in 2020.

An exclusive partnership with Fremantle, Family Feud Live aboard Mardi Gras will feature the same format and signature set as the TV show. Two five-person teams will battle it out in rounds including Face Off and Fast Money by naming the most popular answers to survey questions for a chance to win a host of prizes in a high-energy gameplay.

“Carnival Cruise Line is all about fun, family and friends just like Family Feud,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. “As we continue to build Mardi Gras’ diverse entertainment lineup, we are excited about offering this iconic game show onboard and involving our guests in a great new way to Choose Fun.”

Rick Glankler, president of commercial operations for Fremantle, added, “Our show has been wildly successful for more than 40 years, but it’s never been showcased at sea, so this is an unbelievably exciting opportunity for us. Carnival’s audience is perfectly aligned with our show, and we cannot wait to give Mardi Gras’ guests the chance to play Family Feud Live.”

The onboard version of Family Feud Live on Mardi Gras will be hosted by the ship’s cruise director. Several variations of the show will be played and designed to be both family-friendly and adult-oriented. Family Feud Live will be just one of the many all-ages entertainment offerings presented in Mardi Gras’ Grand Central zone and other new venues.

Mardi Gras is Carnival’s most innovative ship with such groundbreaking experiences like BOLT, the first roller coaster at sea, as well as Emeril’s Bistro 1396, the first seagoing restaurant by famed New Orleans chef Emeril Lagasse that will be housed in the ship’s French Quarter, one of six themed zones on board. Mardi Gras will also be the first cruise ship in North America to be powered by Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), part of Carnival Corporation’s “green cruising” platform.

Currently under construction at the Meyer Turku shipyard in Turku, Finland, Mardi Gras is slated to enter service in Europe Aug. 31, 2020, before repositioning to New York for a series of voyages then shift to Port Canaveral for year-round seven-day Caribbean cruises beginning in Oct. 2020.

Disney Cruise Line and Captain Minnie Mouse Inspire Next Generation of Female Ship Captains
With a collection of new initiatives, Disney Cruise Line is aiming to inspire the next generation of female leaders in the maritime industry. The debut of Captain Minnie Mouse, new youth programs and the funding of scholarships are designed to empower girls and young women to pursue careers in the cruise industry and chart a course for success.

Disney characters delight and inspire children around the globe, and Disney Cruise Line is counting on the power of the mouse – Minnie Mouse – to spread the message of exploring new horizons, both by land and by sea.

Captain Minnie Mouse, in her crisp new uniform with smart white trousers or skirt and a bold red jacket emblazoned with captain's insignia, will make the rounds on all Disney ships starting in April.

In 2019, Disney Cruise Line will sponsor four scholarships at the LJM Maritime Academy in The Bahamas for female cadets who aspire to be ship captains and shipboard leaders. The scholarships, one for each of the ships in the Disney Cruise Line fleet, will include tuition to the three-year program. The scholarships will include two years of study at the academy and one year of service aboard a Disney ship.

"Our Disney characters have a unique ability to inspire and connect with children, and we know Captain Minnie will encourage young girls around the world to consider a career in the maritime industry," said Jeff Vahle, president of Disney Cruise Line. "We are excited to work with LJM Maritime Academy to offer scholarships for young women who are pursuing their passions and following their dreams in our industry."

Onboard Disney Cruise Line ships later this year, Captain Minnie Mouse will appear in an all-new youth activity where young captain hopefuls practice STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) skills in a fun maritime-themed activity. Children will hone their STEM and problem-solving abilities – skills that play an important role in the maritime industry – in a series of engaging, hands-on activities.

The interactive experience will be a journey of discovery, exploration and imagination that will be offered in Disney's Oceaneer Lab aboard all Disney ships.

As part of a commitment to encourage future generations to pursue careers in the maritime industry, Captain Minnie Mouse will visit children in some of Disney Cruise Line's homeports and ports of call.

Children will have an opportunity to meet Captain Minnie Mouse and be inspired by her "can do" qualities and ability to tackle any goal she sets her mind to.

As part of these local community visits, Captain Minnie Mouse will be accompanied by a female Disney Cruise Line officer or crew member to showcase their roles in the maritime industry and raise awareness about career choices for women aboard a cruise ship.

To celebrate the excitement of Captain Minnie Mouse at the helm, Disney Cruise Line is unveiling a special line of merchandise, exclusive to the Disney fleet. Items in the nautical-themed collection of apparel and gifts tout the tagline, "You Can Call Me Captain." A brand-new Captain Minnie Mouse plush will be introduced this summer.

Captain Minnie Mouse also takes the spotlight on a new PANDORA Jewelry charm, available for purchase exclusively onboard.

In the future, girls will get to dress the part with a Captain Minnie Mouse makeover at Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, available exclusively on Disney ships. At this special salon, children can transform into seafaring captains, inspired by their favorite mouse.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 53.07 - 1.25%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 120.40 - 1.68%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 1.07 + 0.94%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 56.60 - 3.53%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
In May of 1972, on voyage number 84, Cunard's QE2 picked up four unexpected passengers during a trans-Atlantic crossing. Who were they, and how did they end up onboard QE2?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Holland America's Rotterdam of 1959 (now a museum ship/hotel in Rotterdam) had a unique central staircase that allowed first class and tourist class passengers to use the the stairs at the same time without ever meeting each other. How was this feat accomplished and what was the inspiration for this design feature?

Answer - The Rotterdam of 1959 had a staircase that comprised of two inter-spiralling staircases that allowed both first class and tourist class to travel vertically and permitted them to access their own grade of deck. This feature was copied from the Chateau de Chambord in France.
courtesy of Les Grant.


Cruise News - April 15, 2019

Celebrity Cruises Orders Fifth Edge-Class Vessel
Royal Caribbean Cruises today announced that it has entered into an agreement with French shipbuilder Chantiers de l'Atlantique to order a fifth Edge-class ship for delivery in the fall of 2024.

"Edge class made an immediate hit with Celebrity Cruises guests and is a state-of-the-art example of technical excellence and elegant design," said Richard D. Fain, Chairman and CEO, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. "We can't wait to build the next one."

"Celebrity Edge has delighted our guests and affirmed Celebrity Cruises as the leading modern luxury brand. Chantiers de l'Atlantique has been a brilliant partner and we look forward to creating another amazing vessel with them," said Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, President and CEO, Celebrity Cruises.

"We are really proud and happy to have built such an outstanding relationship with our customer, based on mutual trust and driven by the spirit of innovation," said Laurent Castaing, General Manager, Chantiers de l'Atlantique. "After the four Millennium-class ships at the beginning of 2000's and the four Edge-class ships, this is the ninth ship ordered by Celebrity Cruises at our shipyard and it will be the 24th vessel built by Chantiers de l'Atlantique and operated by RCL. This is a real testimony of the exceptional level of cooperation we reached together."

Celebrity Edge was delivered in 2018. Three other Edge-class ships were ordered earlier and are scheduled for delivery in 2020, 2021 and 2022. This new order is contingent upon financing.

Royal Caribbean Takes Delivery Of Spectrum of the Seas
Royal Caribbean International officially took delivery of the 26th ship in its fleet, Spectrum of the Seas, in a ceremony held today in Bremerhaven, Germany. Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. Chairman and CEO Richard D. Fain and President and CEO of Royal Caribbean International Michael Bayley received the new ship from Meyer Wert Yard’s Managing Partner Bernard Meyer and Meyer Werft Yard’s Managing Director Tim Meyer at the official handover ceremony. The first in the Quantum Ultra class of ships, Spectrum will homeport from Shanghai starting June 2019.

“We are excited to welcome Spectrum of the Seas, our first Quantum Ultra Class ship to the Royal Caribbean family,” said Michael Bayley, President and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. “We have once again combined revolutionary ship design with the latest technology to deliver a ship that will redefine the China cruise market. We are excited for our guests to make amazing family memories.”

Designed and built for unforgettable vacation experiences, Spectrum will debut the global cruise line’s first private enclave for suite guests, new stateroom categories, and innovative dining concepts, along with stunning features, experiences and technology – many of which have never been seen before at sea.

Spectrum’s highlights include:

• Royal Caribbean’s first exclusive suites-only area, which will feature the exquisite Goldenand Silver suite accommodations in a private enclave at the forward end of the ship on decks 13 through 16. Vacationers booked in these luxury suites will have special keycard access, a private elevator and a dedicated restaurant and lounge. In addition to a range of exclusive amenities, guests will have access to The Balcony – a private outdoor space for sunbathing and relaxing – that offers the best views on board; and The Boutique, a shopping area where travelers can book private shopping experiences.

• The two-level, 2,809-square-foot Ultimate Family Suiteaccommodating up to 11 guests. The three-bedroom suite includes a master bedroom and two additional bedrooms for grandparents and other family members. Kids have their own kid-friendly space on the upper level, complete with an in-suite slide that will transport them to the living area below. Everyone in the family can enjoy time together in the recreation room, featuring surround-sound equipment for a night of karaoke, movies and video games.

• Innovative dining concepts Sichuan Red– with authentic cuisine from the Sichuan province of China, Wonderland’s Dadong – a new outpost of Chinese chef Dong Zhenxiang, renowned for his much-coveted roast duck; and the Leaf and Bean traditional tea room and café parlor offering a range of authentic Chinese teas, classic coffee drinks as well as freshly baked Chinese and western desserts and pastries.

• Debuting on Spectrum, a new lively and energetic karaoke venue, Star Moment, where family and friends can belt out and sing like stars.

• An enhanced SeaPlex, the largest indoor sports and entertainment complex at sea, where families can enjoy bumper cars, roller skating, basketball, and new augmented realitywalls and floors, providing guests with thrilling, high-tech interactive experiences.

• The iconic Sky Pad, a virtual reality, bungee trampoline experience located on the aft of the ship, as well as Quantum Class favorites: the North Star, a glass capsule that takes guests more than 300 feet above the ocean for incomparable panoramic views; RipCord by iFly, a heart-pounding skydiving simulator experience; and the FlowRider surfing simulator.

• Cutting-edge and transformative venues, such as Two70with its expansive floor-to-ceiling windows offering breathtaking 270-degree views of the ocean. Two70 features its signature Vistarama technology, which transforms the panoramic windows into a projection surface more than 100 feet wide and over 20 feet tall to showcase spectacular digital shows. Six agile Roboscreens, measuring over 7 feet tall and controlled by powerful, yet nimble robotic arms, create scenes as they soar and twist solo or as one. Two70 will also feature new room-scale augmented reality experiences that transport vacationers to new worlds of adventure. Accommodating 4,246 guests at double occupancy and 1,551 international crew members, Spectrum will be the largest and most expensive ship in Asia when she arrives to her new home in Shanghai on June 3, 2019. Before Spectrum arrives to her new home this summer, she will sail a 46-night Global Odyssey from Barcelona, Spain to Shanghai, taking guests to an exciting array of ports, including Aqaba, Jordan; Dubai, UAE; Muscat, Oman; Cochin, India and Georgetown, Malaysia. In winter 2019, the ship will reposition to Hong Kong to offer special holiday cruises.

Silversea Unveils Silver Origin
Silversea unveils new details of Silver Origin, the cruise line's first ever destination-specific ship, which will unlock deep travel experiences for guests in the Galapagos Islands from the summer of 2020. One of the most environmentally friendly cruise ships ever and designed entirely with these unique islands in mind, Silver Origin will combine Silversea's local destination expertise with the cruise line's trademark level of luxury to offer guests the ultimate destination experience.

From summer 2020, the 100-passenger, all-suite Silver Origin will build on Silversea's accrued know-how in the Galapagos Islands to form deeper connections between guests and the destination. In addition to the ship's pioneering design and guests' unique experiences ashore – which will be led by Silversea's Expedition Team, who are certified by the National Park of the Galapagos – this immersive concept will see guests enjoy Ecuadorian culture on board, through insightful content, including daily briefings, lectures, videos, and scientific information; authentic local cuisine, prepared by expert Ecuadorian chefs; and various other luxurious enhancements. Offering the highest Zodiac-to-guest ratio in the region, at 1:12.5, Silver Origin will offer a luxurious outpost from which guests will enjoy personalised experiences throughout the Galapagos Islands. Every aspect of guests' cruise experiences will be tailored to take them closer to the authentic beauty of the Galapagos Islands in luxury.

Perfectly crafted and with the utmost attention to the comfort of guests, the interior design of Silver Origin will whisper luxury, inspired by the understated Italian elegance that pervades Silversea's fleet of intimate ships. Yet, it will also take influence from the Galapagos' unique natural environment to strengthen guests' engagement with the destination, with each space enhancing the experience. Bright, colourful motifs and regional materials will accentuate the design. Silver Origin's public spaces were designed by HBA Miami, while GEM – Design for Cruise Ships, the team behind the interior design of Silver Muse, oversaw the interior design of the ship's suites.

Basecamp, an elegant lounge in which guests can socialize before and after excursions, will be among Silver Origin's most innovative spaces. Connecting with the ship's Zodiac embarkation area to represent the synergy between destination and ship, it will host educational activities, through which guests will be able to interact with the onboard Expedition Team to learn more about the rare wildlife, amazing landscapes and captivating history of the Galapagos Islands, before and after experiencing these attractions first-hand. Basecamp will feature a large, interactive digital wall—through which guests will be able to access destination-related content, including pictures, videos, excursion previews and scientific presentations.

With floor-to-ceiling windows for sweeping views of the destination, Silver Origin's Explorer Lounge will host daily briefings and lectures from the ship's Expedition Team. The elegant venue will feature a large video wall and wide HD screens in different seating areas to optimise guests' destination experience. It will also be a sophisticated space in which guests to relax, with a bar and piano. With Silversea's all-inclusive approach, guests will enjoy complimentary drinks throughout the ship, including spirits, champagne, and many varieties of wines.

Located at the very front of the ship, the beautiful Observation Lounge will offer an elegant hideaway to guests, benefitting from incredible views on the destination. It will be the ideal place for guests to relax with a book from the library, which will be carefully curated by Silversea's destination experts and will be the most extensive destination-focused collection the cruise line has ever had on one ship.

Silver Origin will feature eight different suite categories to offer guests superlative comfort—the largest of which, the Owner's Suite, will offer a panoramic view on the destination. Guests in every suite will enjoy the use of a private balcony, while certain suite categories will feature an innovative Horizon Balcony, which can convert to enclose the balcony with a floor-to-ceiling window for added space and better shelter from the elements. Plus, a first for Silversea, selected suite categories will incorporate an ocean-view bathtub, as well as an ocean-view shower that is accessible from the balcony for guests' convenience and comfort.

With culinary immersion offering a means to travel deeper into Ecuadorian culture, expert local chefs will take guests on a journey of culinary discovery in Silver Origin's two dining venues: The Restaurant and The Grill—each of which will be able to accommodate all guests at full capacity. Authentic flavours; fresh, local ingredients; and regional wines will complement international cuisine to inspire the palates of diners, showcasing the best of Ecuadorian culinary heritage in refined settings. In The Restaurant, guests will enjoy an abundance of natural light and far-reaching views as they dine; in The Grill, a sophisticated open-air venue that can be partially enclosed for comfort, Silversea's signature Hot Rocks concept will enhance guests' dining experiences, with Ecuadorian twists enhancing the offering further still.

Silver Origin will be one of the most environmentally friendly cruise ships ever built, thanks to state-of-the-art technology and solutions designed specifically for sailing the Galapagos Islands: the ship's dynamic positioning system will allow Silver Origin to automatically maintain position to protect the sea floor; fresh water purification systems, installed in each suite, will enable the ship to reduce the consumption of single-use plastic bottles; an advanced Waste Water Treatment System will meet or exceed the strictest regulations in the market; and Silver Origin will meet the highest standards of energy efficiency in the segment. The technological innovation of Silver Origin will complement Silversea's significant efforts to make a positive impact on the natural and economic environment of the Galapagos Islands, including the cruise line's contribution to the Floreana Island Ecological Restoration Project.

"Silver Origin will elevate our industry-leading offering in the Galapagos Islands, unlocking meaningful experiences for guests, as they travel in ultimate luxury," says Roberto Martinoli, Silversea's CEO. "Ever since the early planning phases, every decision on Silver Origin has been made to strengthen the connection between our guests and this spectacular, unique destination."

"The natural beauty of the Galapagos Islands makes it one of the world's best cruise destinations," says Fernando Delgado, Silversea's Vice President and General Manager of Canodros C.L. "Silver Origin will enhance Silversea's award-winning cruise experience here, raising it to an even more incredible level for guests' enjoyment. I am excited to personally welcome Silver Origin to the region, and introduce the ship to our valued guests and trade partners."

Silver Origin will see the highest crew-to-guest ratio (1:1.16) and the highest ratio of qualified guides per guest (1:10) in the Galapagos Islands, enabling unparalleled levels of personalised service. This will extend to the in-suite experience, as Silver Origin will be the only ship in the Galapagos Islands to offer butler service to all suites.

New Arctic Expedition Offered
Travelers who dream of following in the footsteps of notable explorers need look no further than a new Arctic expedition offered by Overseas Adventure Travel (O.A.T.), the leader in small group travel on the road less traveled. O.A.T. announced three Summer 2020 departures of its first Arctic expedition cruise.

Travelers will set sail aboard the privately chartered 150-passenger M/V Hondius and journey north into the frozen wilderness. The brand new, state-of-the-art ship is the world's first civilian registered Polar Class 6 expedition cruise vessel. Polar bears on coastlines and herds of reindeer grazing in the tundra are among the many extraordinary wildlife sights.

"Our travelers—Americans 55 and older—are endlessly curious about the world and are eager to learn and be engaged. This Arctic expedition is interactive and experiential with significant opportunity to explore in small groups," said Brian Fitzgerald, chief operating officer of O.A.T. "O.A.T. travelers are environmentally conscious, and this ship's design aligns with that very well."

Arctic Expedition: Untamed Norway & Svalbard – 15 days from $12,895 pp, including international airfare. Three departures only: June 29 and July 9 &19, 2020.

Highlights of the expedition include:

• 10 days cruising around the island of Svalbard, spotting wildlife such as polar bears, walrus, narwhals, reindeer, arctic foxes, blue whales, and many types of birds.

• Daily zodiac cruising and landings – 10 people per zodiac accompanied by a knowledgeable Expedition Team.

• Educational talks and discussions regarding climate change, pollution, ice flow changes, wildlife and explorers.

• A rare "open bridge" policy enabling travelers to speak with the captain at any time.

Starting from Oslo, Norway, travelers will fly to Longyearbyen in the Svalbard archipelago, where they will board the ship and spend the next 10 nights cruising among ice floes, alongside pods of beluga whales, and past the breeding grounds of guillemots and Atlantic puffins. The cruise affords ample opportunity to marvel at the neon colors that the midnight sun paints the sky during the summer solstice, when it doesn't set for a six-month period.

Wildlife diversity in the Arctic is a major attraction for many travelers. In addition to the O.A.T. crew, an Expedition Team will be on board and available throughout the day, including naturalists, botanists, wildlife experts and ornithologists to help spot and discuss wildlife. June and July are the best time for seeing polar bears on Svalbard. Arctic flowers in full bloom and longer days create great light conditions for photos.

The M/V Hondius was designed to adapt to the ever-changing polar environment for exploratory voyages that provide first-hand contact with the Arctic. The vessel passed green requirements to impact the environment as little as possible. It features bio-degradable paints and lubricants, LED lighting and flexible power management systems to keep fuel consumption and CO2 emission at the absolute minimum.

O.A.T. is the leader in small ship cruising, with its 16- to 210-passenger, coastal-cruising small ships. These vessels are designed to slip into more remote ports that larger vessels cannot reach, bringing travelers closer to the most authentic discoveries. O.A.T. small ships also travel to remote locations around the world that are only accessible by small ship. O.A.T. travelers have the freedom to personalize their adventures. They can take pre- and post-trip extensions to spend more time abroad, travel on consecutive trips to avoid the expense and length of another international flight, and customize their air itinerary by choosing their airline, upgrading their seat, and selecting the city they want to depart from and return to.

Norwegian Cruise Line Announces Select 2020 and 2021 Itineraries
Norwegian Cruise Line today announced select 2020 and 2021 itineraries for 12 of its 17 ships.

The itineraries include Norwegian Encore’s debut in Seattle where she will sail seven-day cruises to Alaska alongside her sister ship Norwegian Bliss, as well as Norwegian Joy’s arrival in New York for the first time. Further, Norwegian Spirit, which will undergo an extensive multi-million-dollar revitalization in early 2020, will sail a variety of port-intensive itineraries from Tokyo, Japan and Hong Kong, China. Norwegian Jewel will sail French Polynesia, Hawaii and South Pacific cruises in spring 2020 and spring 2021.

“We are very excited to have opened for sale incredibly appealing itineraries across our innovative fleet,” said Andy Stuart, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line. “With these compelling sailings as well as the introduction of our latest ships, Norwegian Joy and Norwegian Encore, and the revitalization of our mid-size vessels, we are confident guests will continue to savor every moment of their cruise vacation when they travel with us.”

Following are the itineraries announced today:

Alaska

Norwegian Bliss, which launched last year, will be joined in Seattle this year and next by Norwegian Joy and in 2021 by the soon-to-debut Norwegian Encore. Both Norwegian Bliss and Norwegian Encore will offer a variety of seven-day cruises. Norwegian Bliss will call to Juneau, Ketchikan and Icy Strait Point, Alaska as well as to Victoria, British Columbia beginning April 24, 2021. Her first visit to Icy Strait Point will be on May 12, 2021. Norwegian Encore will commence her Alaska season on May 2, 2021, sailing to Juneau, Skagway and Ketchikan, Alaska; and Victoria, British Columbia.All of Norwegian Encore’s Alaska itineraries will feature Glacier Bay. Norwegian Joy will sail to Alaska, visiting Juneau, Ketchikan and Icy Strait Point as well as Victoria, British Columbia from April 2020 to October 2020. Beginning May 10, 2021, Norwegian Jewel returns to Vancouver, British Columbia and Seward, Alaska to sail her incredibly popular seven-day Glacier Bay Northbound and Inside Passage itineraries.

The Caribbean

As of April 13, 2021, Norwegian Breakaway will cruise a mix of five, seven and nine-day Eastern, Western and Southern Caribbean cruises from Miami. Her Eastern Caribbean sailings will include calls to Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic; St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands; Tortola, British Virgin Islands; and Norwegian’s private island, Great Stirrup Cay in the Bahamas. Her Western Caribbean cruises feature visits to Roatán Island, Honduras; Costa Maya and Cozumel, Mexico; and the Caribbean’s premier resort-style destination in Belize, Harvest Caye. Norwegian Breakaway’s Southern Caribbean cruises will visit Oranjestad, Aruba; Willemstad, Curaçao; Kralendijk, Bonaire; and Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic.

Bermuda, Canada and New England

Beginning April 14, 2021, Norwegian Joy will homeport in New York City for the first time, sailing a mix of Bermuda as well as Canada and New England cruises. Her seven-day Bermuda sailings will offer guests three full days to explore the island, while her five-day Canada and New England voyages will feature visits to Portland, Maine and Halifax, Nova Scotia.

From April 18, 2021, Norwegian Gem will sail a mix of seven-day Bermuda cruises from Boston as well as seven-day Canada and New England cruises from Boston and Quebec City, Canada. Visits include Bar Harbor and Portland, Maine; Halifax and Sydney, Nova Scotia; Saguenay, Quebec; and Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island.

Following her Caribbean cruises from Miami on August 24, 2021, Norwegian Breakaway will sail seven-day Canada and New England cruises from New York that will include calls to Bar Harbor and Portland, Maine; Halifax, Nova Scotia; and Saint John, New Brunswick.

Europe

On April 25, 2021, Norwegian Epic will return to Europe to sail her popular seven-day itineraries from Barcelona, Spain and Rome (Civitavecchia) with calls to Naples and Florence/Pisa (Livorno), Italy; Cannes, France; and Palma de Mallorca, Spain.

Beginning May 2, 2021, Norwegian Dawn will once again cruise the Greek Isles from Venice, Italy with seven-day sailings that include visits to Kotor, Montenegro; Dubrovnik, Croatia; and Corfu, Santorini, Mykonos and Argostoli, Greece.

As of April 29, 2021, Norwegian Getaway will offer 10 and 11-day cruises to the Greek Isles and Italy from Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy with stops in Kotor, Montenegro; Dubrovnik, Croatia; Corfu, Santorini, Mykonos and Athens (Piraeus), Greece; and Naples and Florence/Pisa (Livorno), Italy.

Returning to Europe on May 28, 2021, Norwegian Escape will offer nine-day cruises to the Baltic region from Copenhagen, Denmark with calls to Warnemünde, Germany; Tallinn, Estonia; Helsinki, Finland; Stockholm (Nynashamn), Sweden and an overnight in Saint Petersburg, Russia.

Asia and South Pacific

Beginning May 9, 2020 and opening for sale on May 1, 2019, Norwegian Spirit will sail a variety of port-intensive itineraries from Tokyo, Japan and Hong Kong, China. These 11 to 15-day itineraries will feature bucket-list worthy destinations including calls to Shanghai and Beijing, China; Osaka, Okinawa, Mount Fuji (Shimizu) and Sapporo, Japan; and Taipei (Keelung), Taiwan.

In early 2020, as part of the company’s Norwegian Edge® program, Norwegian Spirit will undergo an extensive multi-million-dollar revitalization including new venues, updated staterooms and public spaces.

Norwegian Jewel will sail a variety of French Polynesia, Hawaii, and South Pacific cruises in spring 2020 and spring 2021. Opening for sale on April 17, 2019, these 11 to 21-day sailings will cruise from Sydney, Australia; Papeete, Tahiti; Honolulu, Hawaii; and Vancouver, British Columbia featuring visits to incredible destinations such as Bora Bora, Moorea, Raiatea, and Nuku Hiva, French Polynesia; Lautoka, Suva, and Dravuni, Fiji; Noumea, Lifou, and Ille des Pins, New Caledonia; Mystery Island, Espiritu Santo, and Port Vila, Vanuatu; and the Big Island (Hilo and Kailua-Kona), Maui (Kahului), Kauai (Nawiliwili), and Oahu (Honolulu), Hawaii.

Princess Cruises Returns to Tahiti
In 2020, Princess Cruises guests will enjoy the welcoming spirit and idyllic islands of French Polynesia when the cruise line returns to Tahiti with the intimate Pacific Princess, offering a series of roundtrip cruises for the first time since 2015. Tahiti and French Polynesia cruises open for sale on April 17, 2019.

Guests will discover a trove of unspoiled treasures with sparkling lagoons and white-sand beaches available on five, 10-day Tahiti & French Polynesia departures, sailing roundtrip from Tahiti (Papeete). Every voyage includes overnight calls in Tahiti's capital Papeete and romantic Bora Bora, as well as a late-night stay in Raiatea. Additional ports includes Huahine, Rangiroa, and Moorea. Cruise vacations begin Oct. 5, 15, 25 and Nov. 4 and 14, 2020 starting at $1,999.

"Tahiti and French Polynesia lure travelers from all over the world seeking pure unspoiled paradise, snorkeling, swimming adventures and relaxation," said Jan Swartz Princess Cruises president. "With our return to Tahiti in 2020, Princess Cruises offers the best way to explore this remote island life aboard our intimate Pacific Princess."

Small ship cruising on Pacific Princess with just 670 guests offers casual elegance, signature Princess Cruises features, warm welcoming service and the special camaraderie that guests always find when sailing with others who share their passion for travel.

"Princess Cruises has a long history with Tahiti and is a highly valued partner showcasing the diversity of our islands, the rich authentic local culture, and the great variety of experiences that await discovery," notes Paul Sloan, Tahiti Tourisme, Directeur Général and CEO. "We are eagerly looking forward to next year and welcoming Pacific Princess back to The Islands of Tahiti."

With four Grand Adventure & Crossings itineraries, Pacific Princess also offers longer sailings for guests to experience the Aloha spirit of the Hawaiian Islands or discover the treasures of South America, including Easter Island with its mysterious Moai. A 19- or 29-day Hawaii & Tahiti Grand Adventure cruise departs Vancouver Sept. 16, 2020 and a 25- or 35-day Tahiti, South America & Panama Canal Crossing departs Tahiti on Nov. 14 or 24, 2020.

100th Anniversary of Titanic Sinking
Today was the 107th anniversary of the sinking of the ocean liner Titanic. The following is a brief overview of the famous ship's brief and tragic life.

The story of RMS Titanic begins at a London dinner party in 1907 attended by White Star Line Chairman, J. Bruce Ismay and Lord Pirrie, a partner at shipbuilder Harland and Wolff. Following a discussion of how they might work together to respond to the increasing competition on the North Atlantic sea route, Ismay and Lord Pirrie agreed that Harland and Wolff would build three super liners, Olympic, Titanic and Gigantic (her name was later changed to Britannic).

This Sunday is the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the ocean liner Titanic.These three sisters would provide unmatched luxury and safety for transatlantic passengers. While the ships would be fast, they were never intended to challenge for the record Atlantic crossing. At over 45,000 tons, they would be the largest passenger liners ever built. Titanic would be over 883 feet long and could carry over 2,600 passengers.

Passenger accommodations consisted of the following:
First class - 416 rooms, 928 berths, 106 sofas and 554 seats in the saloon
Second class - 162 rooms, 510 berths and sofas and 402 seats in the saloon
Third class - 982 in rooms, 40 open berths and 473 seats in the saloon

Construction on the first of the three sisters, Olympic, began in late 1908. Work on her sister, Titanic began a year later in March of 1909. Because of the ships size, both the facilities in Belfast, where the ships were built and New York, their North American destination, had to be expanded. Titanic was launched in May of 1911 and spent the next 11 months fitting out at the Harland and Wolf shipyards. A total of three million rivets were used on her hull, and each of her anchors weighed approximately 8 tons.

Titanic's maiden voyage was originally scheduled for March 20, 1912, but in February of that year, her sister Olympic lost a propeller blade and had to return to the shipyard for emergency repair. As a consequence, resources were temporarily pulled from the Titanic project, and the ship's maiden voyage was delayed until April 10, 1912. Titanic did not sail at full capacity on her maiden voyage. A total of 337 passengers sailed in first class, 271 in second class and 712 in third class, or steerage. Most third class passengers were emigrants from Ireland, England, France, Poland, Scandinavia, Italy and the Middle and Far East.

While many writers (and web sites) claim that the builders dubbed her "unsinkable", there is no record that White Star or her captain Edward J. Smith ever using those words to describe Titanic. It is more likely that this unfortunate, and inaccurate, label was applied by the popular press at the time and over the years it became attributed to both the captain and White Star.

The reality was that Titanic offered her passengers the latest in shipbuilding technology with a double hull and a total of 16 water-tight compartments that were designed to keep her afloat even if up to 4 of them became flooded. While she carried more than the required number of lifeboats for the time, the regulations in effect in 1912 had not been updated to deal with ships of Titanic's size and as a result, her 20 lifeboats only had space for approximately 1,200 of the 2,600 passengers she was expected to carry.

In addition to the latest technology, she also provided her passengers some of most luxurious services and accommodations available. To keep passengers occupied during the crossings she had an indoor swimming pool, a squash court, a gymnasium and even a Turkish Bath. To help passengers stay in contact with business or friends at home, she was equipped with a Marconi radio transmitter and receiver which was staffed 24 hours a day. The facilities in the first class staterooms were unmatched at sea and even rivaled many of the finest shore side accommodations. The quality and variety of food on board was exquisite and the level of service was superb. vIn addition to the formal dining room, Titanic also offered her first class passengers more personal service in the Verandah restaurant where they could order from a special a-la-carte menu. Much like transatlantic crossings today, during days at sea Titanic passengers could enjoy music, stroll along an enclosed promenade, or relax in a deck chair with a book selected from an extensive ship's library.

Accommodations for second class and steerage passengers, while nowhere near the luxury of first class, were nonetheless superior to many of the top accommodations found on other ships.

This new level of luxury and service attracted the elite of British and American society and as a result, Titanic sailed on her maiden voyage with a passenger list that included an unmatched list of celebrities. She also attracted a large number of steerage passengers who were drawn by her size and reputation as a safe ship. While Titanic sported 4 funnels, only three of them were functional - the fourth funnel was added for cosmetic and marketing purposes.

She left Southampton at noon on Wednesday April 10th and proceeded across the English channel to Cherbourg, France where she stopped briefly to pick up additional passengers. Her departure from Southampton was not without incident as Titanic nearly collided with a steamer after the suction of her three propellers snapped the steamer New York's lines and drew her toward Titanic. Captain Smith avoided the collision by cutting Titanic's engines and using the port propeller's wash to keep the ships apart.

In Cherbourg, events went more smoothly and after picking up passengers from tenders, Titanic proceeded northwest to Queenstown, Ireland to pick up her final group of New York-bound passengers. She also dropped off a few very lucky Queenstown-bound passengers. On the evening of April 11th, she left Queenstown and headed out into the Atlantic.

As she headed east, she took the southern track which followed the arc of a great circle from Fastnet rock to the Nantucket Shoals Lightship. This was considered the safest route to avoid the dangers of thick pack ice and large icebergs typically found in more northerly waters at that time of year.

As Captain Smith gradually increased her speed to 22 knots, the experienced passengers on board began to settle into the normal routines of a crossing - getting to know their fellow passengers, exploring the ship, and dressing for diner. Weather was clear and relatively warm, since the winter of 1912 had been uncharacteristically mild. Unfortunately for Titanic, this mild winter had caused an unusually large amount of ice to break away and drift south into the shipping lanes.

With nice weather and smooth seas, passengers in all classes enjoyed four pleasant days at sea. On Sunday, April 14th, the weather began to change and the temperature began to fall. Titanic received at lest five different warnings of ice ahead, but since they had not spotted any ice yet, Captain Smith saw little reason to reduce Titanic's speed.

Later that evening, the wireless operator received a sixth ice warning, but since he was an employee of Marconi - not White Star - and his primary job was to send passenger's messages to shore rather than relay messages to the bridge, this final warning was put aside until thing settled down in the wireless room.

Outside the temperature continued to drop but the moonless, star-filled sky remained clear. At 11:40, lookout Fredrick Fleet spotted an iceberg dead ahead. He rang the bridge and First Officer Murdoch responded by ordering Titanic turned hard to port and the engines full astern. As a result, Titanic began a slow turn away from the iceberg. Unfortunately, she was too close and moving too fast, and her starboard side brushed against the berg.

Surprisingly the impact against the iceberg was barely felt by most passengers with many sleeping through the entire incident. A number of the passengers awake at the time thought Titanic had just barely touched the iceberg or missed it completely. Very few believed the ship had been seriously damaged and some even played football with pieces of ice that had fallen from the berg to the ships foredeck.

Contrary to most reports at the time (and for the next 72 years), Titanic did not suffer a "huge gash" but rather an extended separation of her hull plates. The result was a very small, but very long opening to the sea that doomed the ship.

Soon after the collision, Captain Smith summoned the Titanic's builder, Thomas Andrews to accompany him on a tour of the damage. After visiting the forward section of the ship, Andrews informed Captain Smith that the damage was fatal and that the ship would probably sink within two hours. Ironically, had the lookouts not seen the iceberg and Titanic rammed the berg head-on, the damage would have been limited to her bow compartments and she likely would have made it safely to land.

Just after midnight the crew was instructed to begin waking passengers and advised them to dress warmly, put on their life jackets and report to their lifeboat stations. Since the lifeboats could only accommodate about 1,100 passengers, it was decided that women and children would be put into the boats first.

Unfortunately, due to a variety of reasons including, language, location and social class, passengers in second class and steerage did not arrive at their boat stations until much later, after many of the lifeboats had already left. As a consequence, a greater percentage of these passengers perished.

All of the boats were launched by 2:00 am. and the remaining passengers began moving toward the gradually rising stern. As the bow dropped deeper into the cold water the ship's band continued to play a variety of popular music - although contrary to popular perception it is unlikely they ever played the hymn "Nearer my God to thee"

By 2:10 am, the angle of the deck was so steep that the band could no longer stand to play and they probably joined the growing crowd struggling to climb up the deck. Finally, at 2:15 the weight of the bow section became so heavy that the hull actually fractured and the stern section of the ship separated.

As the water-filled bow plunged toward the bottom, the mostly empty stern, righted itself temporarily and then quickly filled with water and joined the bow on a two and a half mile plunge to the cold Atlantic floor. Of the 2,400 passengers that left for New York on Titanic, only 705 had made it into lifeboats. The remaining 1,502 passengers perished - with many left struggling in the near freezing water.

According to the formal British inquiry, the breakdown of survivors was as follows: First class: 203 (62%) saved, 122 (38%) lost
Second class 118 (41%) saved, 167 (59%) lost
Steerage class 178 (25%) saved, 528 (75%) lost
Crew 212 (24%) saved, 673 (76%) lost

Just before 4:00 am on the morning of April 15th, the survivors saw a faint light on the horizon. Soon thereafter, they saw rockets in the sky fired by the Cunard liner Carpathia. She was the first of the rescue vessels to reach Titanic's last reported position and she had raced heroically through the night dodging icebergs and the surrounding ice fields in a desperate attempt to reach the stricken liner.

Carpathia began picking up survivors as dawn broke and by mid morning it was over. By 8:30 am all of the surviving passengers and the Titanic's lifeboats, all that remained of the largest ship afloat, were aboard and she headed for New York. She arrived there on the evening April 18th and was mobbed by hopeful families and a waiting press.

Today Titanic rests on the bottom of the North Atlantic 2 1/2 miles down at approximately - latitude 41o 46'N, longitude 50o 14'W. The wreck was located 73 years after she went down, by Dr. Robert Ballard of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. It was Dr. Ballard who was able to confirm the previous reports that the ship had broken in two before she sank.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 53.74 + 2.34%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 122.46 + 3.41%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 1.06 - 3.64%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 58.67 + 2.41%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Holland America's Rotterdam of 1959 (now a museum ship/hotel in Rotterdam) had a unique central staircase that allowed first class and tourist class passengers to use the the stairs at the same time without ever meeting each other. How was this feat accomplished and what was the inspiration for this design feature?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
A number of famous liners operated with four funnels (Titanic, Olympic, Lusitania, Mauretania, Kronprinzessin Cecilie, and France of 1912 to name a few...) but only one passenger ship operated with FIVE funnels. Name that ship and the year she entered service.

Answer - The first(and only) ship to operate with five funnels was the 700 foot long GREAT EASTERN which entered service in 1860
courtesy of Jonathan Miller.


Cruise News - April 8, 2019

Holland America Line to Call Next Pinnacle Class Ship Ryndam
In a nod to its long line of historic ships that helped build the foundation for cruising as we know it today, Holland America Line announced that its next Pinnacle Class ship will be called Ryndam. The newbuild, due for delivery in May 2021, will be the fourth ship in the company's history to carry the name.

Ryndam will be similar to sister ships Koningsdam and Nieuw Statendam, measuring 99,500 tons and carrying 2,662 guests. As the third in the series, Ryndam will feature enhanced Pinnacle Class amenities and innovations, along with Holland America Line hallmarks that drive one of the highest guest repeat rates in the industry.

"Holland America Line honors the timeless tradition of cruising while also embracing new innovations for today's travelers, and the name Ryndam reflects the unique history of this company while honoring previous ships that were progressive in their time as this last Ryndam will be," said Orlando Ashford, Holland America Line's president. "From the first Ryndam more than 100 years ago to the most recent, the namesake ships have been beloved by our guests. The next Ryndam will bring new life to one of the most notable series of vessels in our history."

The steel cutting for Ryndam, signifying the official beginning of the building process, was held March 13, 2019 at Fincantieri's shipyard in Marghera, Italy. This will be the 17th ship constructed for Holland America Line by the Italian shipbuilder, which most recently delivered Nieuw Statendam.

The first Ryndam was part of the Holland America Line fleet from 1901 to 1929, starting as Rijndam before receiving the English spelling in 1923. In 1927 Ryndam I became the first Holland America Line ship to sail a world cruise, although it was chartered as a floating school at sea for that voyage. The second Ryndam served from 1951 to 1973, and the third sailed in the fleet from 1993 through 2015, when it was transferred to sister brand P&O Australia and now cruises as Pacific Aria.

Carnival Mardi Gras To Debut Premium 'Carnival Excel' Suites
Carnival Cruise Line today unveiled more details on the numerous accommodation choices guests will have on its highly-anticipated new ship, Mardi Gras, which will feature more than 180 suites across 11 styles, including the new premium category Carnival Excel suites with select amenities and access to a new resort-style, open-air enclave called Loft 19.

"As we continue to announce details on Mardi Gras, guests will see that this ship is going to have more choices to stay and more choices to play," said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. "All of our accommodations have been designed to exceed our guests' expectations, and the suite offerings will kick that up a notch or two for those who want an extra special Choose Fun vacation."

The new premium suite level on Mardi Gras includes 32 suites in four categories:

• Carnival Excel Presidential Suite –Two Presidential Suites – the largest in the fleet – located on Deck 17 that feature spacious living, dining and sleeping areas along with the fleet's most expansive balconies with vast sea views, large sunbed and lounging areas, as well as a private outdoor hot tub and shower. These suites also include access to the spa's thermal suite and the Havana pool area.

• Carnival Excel Aft Suite – Twelve suites overlooking Summer Landing and boasting separate living rooms and bedrooms with large wraparound balconies offering impressive ocean views, as well as a private outdoor hot tub and areas for al fresco dining and relaxing.

• Carnival Excel Corner Suite – Twelve suites on the port and starboard sides of the ship featuring separate sleeping and lounging areas, a wet bar and wraparound balconies with lounging and dining areas.

• Carnival Excel Suite – Six suites on Decks 10, 11 and 12 with sleeping, dining and relaxing areas. The spacious balconies include loungers and a dining area.

All suites onboard Mardi Gras will include an amenities package that includes priority boarding and debarkation, priority main dining room seating, plush bathrobes and bottled water upon arrival.

Guests in the 32 Carnival Excel suites will enjoy standard suite amenities plus the following:

• Unlimited access to Loft 19

• Dedicated concierge phone line

• Guaranteed specialty dining times (with the exception of Bonsai Teppanyaki and the Chef's Table)

• Complimentary Bottomless Bubbles soda package, room service and laundry

• Sparkling wine and fresh fruit basket upon arrival

• Upgraded bathroom amenities

Located on the ship's highest deck, Loft 19 is a brand new concept for Carnival Cruise Line – a secluded retreat modeled after the world's finest resorts with full bar service, a private pool surrounded by sun loungers and spacious cabanas, available for rent. Cabanas are fully stocked with beverages, plush robes and chilled towels, fresh fruit, lunch delivery and dedicated concierge service. Carnival Excel suite guests will receive priority when reserving Loft 19 cabanas.

In addition to the Carnival Excel class suites, Mardi Gras will also feature:

• Ocean Suites –separate sleeping and lounging areas with ergonomically-friendly design.

• Tropics-inspired Havana Suites – private patios with a swing chair and direct access to The Lanai.

• Extra-roomy Family Harbor Suites – nautical décor, large-scale windows and toddler benches.

• Cloud 9 Spa Suites – with special spa privileges such as two fitness classes, access to the ship's Thermal Suite and a scrub kit.

The new suite options are in addition to the wide ranging Mardi Gras accommodations previously announced, which are distinguished by turquoise hues and enhanced by design touches like floor-to-ceiling glass sliding doors; new sofas that "flip" into beds; more 110V power outlets and USB connections than on any other ship; flexible bedside reading lamps; a larger, more customizable wardrobe with extensive storage options; and spacious bathrooms with glass shower doors, a first for the line, along with an in-shower shaving bar.

Currently under construction at the Meyer Turku shipyard in Turku, Finland, Mardi Gras is slated to enter service in Europe Aug. 31, 2020, before repositioning to New York for a series of voyages then shift to Port Canaveral for year-round seven-day Caribbean cruises beginning in Oct. 2020.

MSC Cruises Unveils Plans For Multi-Cruise Ship Terminal At PortMiami
MSC Cruises, the world's largest privately-owned cruise company, announced today details of a new highly-innovative cruise terminal at PortMiami that will support its expanding presence in North America and in the Caribbean in particular.

As per the terms of the agreement, which has today received approval from the Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners, MSC Cruises will design, construct, operate and maintain a large building that hosts two cruise terminals (AA and AAA) as well as two berths. Designed by the award-winning global architecture firm Arquitectonica, MSC Cruises' exclusive new PortMiami terminals will be capable of hosting two mega cruise ships at the same time, allowing the Company to conduct two turnaround operations simultaneously, handling up to 28,000 passenger movements per day.

Pierfrancesco Vago, MSC Cruises Executive Chairman, said: "With another 13 cruise vessels due to join our fleet in the next eight years, our ambition is to have our most innovative ship classes represented at PortMiami, bringing a wealth of choice to our North American as well as international guests.

"In particular, the new terminal – which will be one of the most innovative the industry has seen – will ensure that we can provide our guests an enhanced end-to-end high-quality experience while both embarking and disembarking, thus adding to their ability to fully enjoy every moment of their vacation."

MSC Cruises currently operates four vessels out of PortMiami: MSC Seaside and MSC Armonia year-round; MSC Divina seasonally; and MSC Meraviglia, which will join the ships sailing from Miami this fall, seasonally. With the new cruise facilities, MSC Cruises will bring a total 1 million guests through PortMiami each year.

Work on the new terminals is due to commence in early 2020. MSC Cruises currently estimates that the work will be completed by late 2022, at which time the Company will transfer all its PortMiami operations to the new Terminal.

Seabourn Unveils Public Spaces On New Purpose-Built Expedition Ships
Seabourn has given travelers their first glimpse of select public spaces on its two new purpose-built expedition ships set to launch in June 2021 and May 2022, respectively. The work of design icon Adam D. Tihany, the Expedition Lounge, Discovery Center, Landing Zone, and Atrium are masterfully designed spaces that will act as the communal hub on Seabourn Venture and another yet-to-be-named sister ship.

The Expedition Lounge, Discovery Center, and Landing Zone are new spaces for Seabourn that will be instrumental in creating a sense of awe and adventure for expedition travelers on board amidst an environment of exceptional, intuitive service. Each aims to capture the romanticism of early explorers and the thrill of discovery with thoughtful details and materials that are very tactile- very 'elemental' - capturing the sense of ruggedness that comes with expedition travel while maintaining pristine luxury and comfort. Tihany is also creating all indoor and outdoor guest areas on the two new ships.

"When you conjure up images of the ideal adventure trip, you would head out into the stunning wilderness for the day knowing that when you return a cozy, welcoming space filled with luxurious materials like leathers and rich woods that invites relaxation and conversation awaits you," said Richard Meadows, Seabourn's president. "Each of these newly designed spaces hits that note perfectly, leaving our guests wanting for nothing and giving them an inviting place to talk to fellow travelers each day about the incredible experiences they had, sharing memorable stories or viewing photos they took."

Specific details on each of the spaces include:

Expedition Lounge: The Expedition Lounge, located on Deck 4, is the heart of the ship. A gathering place for the curious, guests are invited to relax or linger with a complimentary cocktail or glass of fine wine from the bar as they share photos and stories from the day with their fellow travelers and the onboard staff. The Expedition Lounge will be central to the Seabourn expedition operation where guests convene before and after expeditions each day.

Custom furniture designed in a variety of warm, natural materials creates an inviting, tactile atmosphere. An ode to the adventurous, the Expedition Lounge features an etched glass partition displaying a vintage map of Antarctica and vitrines showcasing intricate tools and devices of the trade. Two large touchscreens will also display a wealth of information including photos, navigational charts, weather charts, and maps.

Discovery Center: The Discovery Center, which is adjacent to the Expedition Lounge on Deck 4, acts as the teaching & academic center for natural history and cultural programming in an environment spacious enough to accommodate all guests at one time. Each day, guests will visit this venue for insightful lectures, briefings, and Seabourn Conversations enrichment programming designed to help educate them throughout their expedition experience. The world-class 26-person expedition team of wilderness experts, scientists, historians and naturalists will deliver rich, insightful lectures and discussions on a broad array of topics related to the region where guests are sailing. Inspired by the compelling landscape of some of the expedition destinations, the Discovery Center incorporates the organic shapes of topography maps against the elegant curves of the plush custom seating.

Audio-visual experiences will come to life through high-definition screens 2.5 meters high by 10 meters wide, showing a variety of programming to create a captivating experience that whets the appetite and creates excitement for each destination. Footage from daily submarine voyages will also be shown, providing an enticing look at the undersea world and the marine life that calls it home.

Landing Zone: The launch and recovery point for landings, each of the two Landing Zones – Port & Starboard, both located on Deck 3 - will be a generous 60 square meters in size, allowing guests to change and clean their gear in comfort while also providing space to store their rubber boots. The Landing Zone, commonly known as a mud room, has been designed for extreme functionality and accessibility with a durable material palette and optimum location on the ship to allow guests direct access to one of the 24 Zodiacs available for off-ship adventures. In tropical areas, the Landing Zones will also be used for snorkeling and similar activities, with storage space for fins and masks. Guests will move through the two Landing Zones in small groups distributed evenly to keep waiting time and crowding to a minimum for excursion departures. From the Landing Zones, the attentive staff will guide guests down one flight of stairs to Deck 2, where guests step directly from the ship into the Zodiacs to head off across the water or onward to a landing point ashore.

Atrium: The Atrium is a focal point on all Seabourn ships with its elegant winding staircase. On Seabourn's expedition ships, the sky lit space will continue the wood and metal detailing present throughout the ship with details such as rhythmically placed ropework in place of more traditional spindles and a topography inspired wall treatment. Suspended at the center of the Atrium and echoed again at its base is a captivating art display emulating traditional wind measuring instruments.

More details about public spaces and suites on the new expedition ships will continue to be revealed in the coming months. Specific details about itineraries and booking availability will be released in mid-2019.

Tihany was the creative vision behind the luxury yacht inspired interiors on Seabourn Encore and Seabourn Ovation, the line's two newest ships, which have been welcomed to the fleet to wide acclaim. He also designed interiors for The Grill by Thomas Keller restaurant on Seabourn Odyssey, Seabourn Sojourn, and Seabourn Quest.

For this latest project with Seabourn, Tihany will develop the design vision for areas including multiple expedition spaces and lounges; all categories of luxurious guest suites; multiple dining venues; Spa & Wellness with Dr. Andrew Weil; outdoor deck areas; and the innovative and popular Seabourn Square multi-purpose space. Tihany's Product Design arm is designing a bespoke furniture collection for the expedition ships

Azamara Club Cruises Announces 15 New AzAmazing Evenings Experiences
Azamara Club Cruises—the boutique, up-market cruise line committed to providing Destination Immersion experiences—has launched 15 new AzAmazing Evenings, the brand's signature evening events designed to connect guests to the local culture of a destination. Exclusive to Azamara, AzAmazing Evenings are unique to each location and feature local talent and performances, and in many occasions hosted in historic venues, including The Odeon of Ancient Ephesus in Turkey and The Solìs Theatre in Uruguay.

"Committed to our award-winning Destination Immersion programming, we are constantly looking for new and enhanced experiences ashore to deliver authentic travel moments to our guests, while immersing them with the local culture, food, and people," said Larry Pimentel, President and CEO of Azamara Club Cruises. "From Oman to China, Spain to Australia, each AzAmazing Evenings event is tailored to the destination and allows guests to more intimately connect with the local culture."

Highlights from the new AzAmazing Evenings Include:

Lura at Pateo Da Gale
Embarking from Barcelona on May 28, 2019, guests sailing on the 14-Night Tall Sails and Remembrance Voyage will traverse Lisbon's cobblestone streets, making way to one of Europe's most magnificent squares, Terreiro do Paço. With cocktails upon arrival, guests will enjoy the rhythms of colonial-rooted, Funana—an upbeat, accordion-based type of music—performed by Portuguese singer and musician, Lura. Azamara passengers will also enjoy the sounds of Bombo—a traditional, Portuguese Brass Drum—demonstrated by the esteemed, Toca Rufar Orchestra.

A Musical Tribute to the Knights of Rhodes
Setting sail on June 19, 2019, guests on the 10-Night Greece Intensive Voyage will delve into knighthood through a musical journey at the historic, colossal Grand Master's Palace—a palatial structure originally built in the 7th century as a Byzantine Citadel and held by the Crusaders—in Rhodes, Greece. Palace partakers will explore the site's towers, walls and torch-lit hallways, eventually becoming audience members of a musical tribute to the Knights of Rome performed by a four-piece classical orchestra with tenor and soprano.

Traditional Korean Performance at Busan Culture Center
Departing on August 21, 2019 the 14-Night Circle Japan Intensive Voyage will provide passengers an enjoyable, exclusive evening at the Busan Cultural Center—an esteemed venue dedicated to showing Korean heritage, music and art—in Busan, South Korea. Commencing with a cocktail hour, guests will marvel as local experts perform time-honored, Korean folk dances and demonstrate the powerful art of taekwondo.

AzAmazing Evenings are complimentary, held once a voyage and encouraged to be reserved prior to departure date. AzAmazing Evenings are offered on sailings seven-nights or longer with the exception of transatlantic voyages.

Azamara Club Cruises' will announce the list of 2020 and 2021 AzAmazing Evenings in June 2019.

Royal Princess Offers Robust Entertainment Offerings
Princess Cruises' newest and largest cruise ship to sail from the West Coast – Royal Princess – offers guests a unique opportunity to hear from an impressive line-up of celebrity speakers as they sail to the sunny Mexican Riviera.

Now through April 27, 2019, Royal Princess departs on seven-day cruises to the Mexican Riviera from the Port of Los Angeles (San Pedro, Calif.) before heading up for a new Alaska season in early May. Princess Cruises has the longest history of any cruise line to sail from the Port of Los Angeles, not to mention its celebrity status as the ocean-going co-star to the many exciting stories of romance and adventure on the high seas on the hit TV series, "The Love Boat."

"With the recent debut of Royal Princess on the West Coast, we're excited to share with our guests a group of dynamic and noteworthy celebrity speakers," said Denise Saviss, vice president, entertainment experience at Princess Cruises. "With motivating personal stories, poignant life moments and career highlights to share, our guests are sure to walk away impressed and inspired."

Guests sailing aboard Royal Princess will enjoy getting to know a host of celebrities as part of the cruise line's Encounters with Discovery speaker series, including:

April 6-13, 2019
Oscar-Winning Make-Up Artist Michael Westmore
Michael Westmore is a renowned make-up artist best known for his work in various Star Trek productions, winning nine Emmy Awards. He is a member of the prominent Westmore family and is part of the fourth generation to serve Hollywood as a make-up artist. His career began at Universal Studios in 1961 and spanned four decades, including partnering with the CIA creating make-up kits for spies overseas. He won an Academy Award for Best Make-Up in 1985 for his work on the film Mask.

April 13-20, 2019
Award-Winning Composer, Producer and Arranger John Mauceri
John Mauceri's distinguished and extraordinary career has brought him not only to the world's greatest opera companies and symphony orchestras, but also to the musical stages of Broadway and Hollywood, as well as the most prestigious halls of academia. Regarded as the world's leading performer of the music of Hollywood's émigré composers, he has taken the lead in the preservation and performance of many kinds of music and has supervised/conducted premieres by composers as diverse as Debussy, Stockhausen, Korngold, Bernstein, Hindemith, Elfman, Ives, and Shore. As an accomplished recording artist, Mauceri has over 70 albums to his name, and is the recipient of Grammy, Tony, Olivier, Drama Desk, Edison, Cannes Classique, Billboard, two Diapasons d'Or, three Emmys, and four Deutsche Schallplatten Awards.

April 20-27, 2019
TV Host and Daredevil Tory Belleci
Best known for his work on the Discovery Channel television program Mythbusters, Tory Belluci is an American television personality and model maker. He is often considered, by fellow MythBusters Kari Byron and Grant Imahara, to be more of a daredevil and, as such, often performs the more dangerous stunts when testing a myth. These have included: testing the "Red Flag to a Bull" myth; testing the myth that a human's tongue will instantly stick to a frozen pole, in the "Snow Special" episode; and the myth "can you stay underwater for an hour while breathing through a dart tube?" in the "Ninja Movie Myths 2" episode.

April 27-May 4, 2019
Author, Butler to HM Queen Elizabeth II and Diana, Princess of Wales Paul Burrell
Paul Burrell is a former staff member of the British Royal Household. He was a footman for Queen Elizabeth II and later butler to Diana, Princess of Wales. Since her death in 1997, Burrell has been featured prominently in the media in connection with her, and since 2004 as an occasional entertainment show celebrity. In 2003, Burrell released his memoir A Royal Duty, which follows his career as a member of the Royal Family's staff. It deals in detail with his time as butler to the Prince and Princess of Wales at Highgrove House in Gloucestershire, his move to Diana's staff at Kensington Palace after her divorce from Prince Charles and Burrell's acquittal on theft charges. The book was an international best-seller.

May 4-11, 2019
2018 Miss America Cara Mund
Cara Mund is an American beauty pageant titleholder from Bismarck, North Dakota. In June 2017, she was crowned Miss North Dakota and in September 2017, Mund was crowned Miss America 2018 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Along with the title of Miss America, she received a $50,000 scholarship. Mund is the first contestant from North Dakota to win the Miss America title. She is also the last Miss America to ever compete in the swimsuit portion of competition. During her reign, Mund served as the 2018 National Goodwill Ambassador for the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals and worked closely with the USO.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 52.51 + 0.61 %
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 118.42 + 2.43%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 1.10 - 0.90%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 57.29 + 2.10%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
A number of famous liners operated with four funnels (Titanic, Olympic, Lusitania, Mauretania, Kronprinzessin Cecilie, and France of 1912 to name a few...) but only one passenger ship operated with FIVE funnels. Name that ship and the year she entered service.

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Between the time she left Cunard's service in 1968 and her arrival in Hong Kong in 1971, the Queen Elizabeth spent time in what is now one of the most popular ports in North America. Where was she laid up during this time?

Answer - The Queen Elizabeth was docked at Port Everglades, Florida and open to the public until it was declared a fire hazard.
courtesy of Rich C. The Villages, Florida


Cruise News - April 1, 2019

Princess Cruises Announces Most Destination-Rich World Cruise
For more than two decades, Princess Cruises has been taking guests to iconic and off-the-beaten-path global destinations on annual World Cruises, offering the ultimate bucket-list vacation. The cruise line today announced its most robust 2021 World Cruise itinerary ever with more ports and countries than ever before.

World Travelers seeking an epic adventure around the globe need to look no further than Princess Cruises and the cruise line's 2021 World Cruise sailing roundtrip from North America. The 111-day World Cruise will visit 50 destinations in 32 countries, across six continents, including Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, South America and North America.

The 111-day roundtrip voyage from Ft. Lauderdale departs on January 3, 2021, and the 111-day roundtrip cruise from Los Angeles departs January 17, 2021. A 97-day World Cruise from Los Angeles to Ft. Lauderdale is also offered, setting sail on January 17, 2021.

"Our 2021 World Cruise marks a significant milestone for Princess Cruises, with it being our most robust itinerary," said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises president. "Guests will sail more than 34,000 nautical miles on an ultimate adventure around the globe, creating unforgettable memories."

The 2021 111-day World Cruise aboard Island Princess is on sale now with rates starting at $19,999/person. Guests booking the 97- or 111-day World Cruise before November 30, 2019 receive early booking perks such as a $1,000 onboard spending money, free airfare, stateroom upgrade, gratuities, Wi-Fi, specialty dining and wine.

New and interesting details about the 2021 World Cruise include:

• Cruise to 50 destinations, 32 countries on six continents.

• Visits to 25 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, the Archaeological City of Petra from Aqaba, the ancient Greek city of Ephesus in Turkey and the historical city of Rabat from Casablanca.

• Island Princess will sail 34,000 nautical miles in 111 days.

• The World Cruise crosses the Equator two times.

• Maiden port calls to the beautiful seaside town of Gynthion, Greece; New Plymouth, New Zealand; and Mindelo, Cape Verde Islands.

• An optional overland excursion to Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park in the Australian Outback, home of the iconic Ayers Rock.

• With 14 late-night "More Ashore" stays to maximize time in port, guests can take in a Tahitian sunset or make a toast to the nightlife in Singapore, plus be treated to overnight stays in ultra-modern Dubai and magical Venice.

Island Princess makes her World Cruise debut in 2021, featuring more than 700 balconies, Princess Luxury Bed in each stateroom, more specialty and casual dining options and more entertainment venues for live music and lavish production shows like The Secret Silk by Broadway Legend Stephen Schwartz. World Cruise guests will be treated to Encounters with Discovery speaker series that includes authors, artists, explorers and more, as well as culinary demonstrations, cooking classes, special-themed menus, foreign movies and regional folkloric shows to bring the destinations to life.

Virgin Voyages announcing RockStar Private Jet Transfers
Virgin Voyages, the new lifestyle brand set to disrupt the travel industry, today announced it is upping the ante, and means of transportation for its RockStar Suites Sailors.

Inspired by The Runway, the red running track that sits atop of the ship like a halo, on Scarlet Lady, Virgin Voyages will soon give its Sailors the runway they deserve on its second ship. All Sailors staying in RockStar Suites will now arrive and depart via private jet transfer– so pop the champagne because the sky is no longer the limit with Virgin Voyages.

“From the sky to the sea, our RockStar Suite Sailors will truly live the glamorous life of a rockstar icon from the moment they begin their holiday. Why walk aboard the ship when you can fly,” said Tom McAlpin, president and CEO of Virgin Voyages.

Virgin Voyages has thrown out traditional clichés – and modes of transportation – on stuffy luxury and formalities with their RockStar Suites designed by Tom Dixon’s Design Research Studio. The Suites bring a fresh take to yachting glamour steeped in the Virgin brand’s rock and roll heritage. Inspired by mega yachts and the glory days of rock and roll where stars like Queen, The Sex Pistols and The Rolling Stones reigned supreme, the RockStar Suites feature a retro-futurism design with a palette of deep blues used with iridescent dichroic elements to echo the deep blue sea.

RockStar Suites Sailors will live their best lives all taken care of with VIP private jet transfer, early access to onboard entertainment, restaurants and Shore Things. Upon disembarking the jet, Virgin Voyages RockStar Suites Sailors will have their very own wardrobe team to help unpack and repack, complimentary pressing service and nightly express swimsuit drying service-- because no rockstar should ever have a wet bottom.

Kelly Arison to Serve as Godmother of Carnival Sunrise
As Carnival Sunrise makes her debut following her $200 million transformation, Carnival Cruise Line announced today that Kelly Arison, daughter of Carnival Corporation Chairman Micky Arison and his wife Madeleine, will serve as godmother for the ship at an invitation-only ceremony in New York on May 23.

In what is sure to be a touching moment, Kelly will step into the godmother role previously held by her mother when the ship first entered service as Carnival Triumph, in 1999. In an added stroke of family ties, Kelly’s grandmother Lin Arison served as godmother to Carnival Sunrise’s sister ship, Carnival Sunshine, in 2013.

Carnival Sunrise’s naming ceremony will take place aboard the ship at the Manhattan Cruise Passenger Terminal and will serve as a platform to heighten awareness of the work of the Ehlers-Danlos Society, an organization dedicated to serving those with joint hypermobility spectrum disorders, of which Kelly is a strong advocate. Carnival will be making a donation to the Ehlers-Danlos Society during the ceremony.

“It is truly an honor to carry on my family’s cherished tradition and join the esteemed women who have so admirably carried out their role as a Carnival godmother over the years,” said Kelly. “This ceremony will not only serve as an exciting and memorable way to officially introduce the spectacular Carnival Sunrise to the Carnival fleet but also raise awareness of an organization very near and dear to my heart, the Ehlers-Danlos Society.”

“Carnival Cruise Line is proud and delighted that Kelly will serve in this role as she officially names Carnival Sunrise,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. “And given the family ties to this ship in particular, we are planning to include some special guests that mean a lot to the Arison family and have played an important part in the history of Carnival Cruise Line.”

Carnival Sunrise’s inaugural season includes four- to 14-day voyages from Norfolk, Va., and New York to Bermuda, Canada and the Caribbean through September. The ship will then reposition to Fort Lauderdale for a winter season of Caribbean and Bahamian voyages beginning in October 2019 before heading back to New York in spring 2020.

Guests sailing aboard Carnival Sunrise will enjoy a wide range of entertainment options, along with open-air attractions like a new WaterWorks aqua park and SportSquare featuring a suspended ropes course. New dining offerings include Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse developed in tandem with Food Network star Guy Fieri, the Cucina del Capitano family-style Italian restaurant and the Caribbean-themed Red Frog Pub.

All of the ship’s staterooms have been updated with island-inspired interiors featuring bright colors and soothing pastels inspired by the line’s Caribbean itineraries, along with new choices such as luxurious Captain’s Suites adjacent to the navigational bridge offering floor-to-ceiling windows and extended balcony grand suites.

Norwegian Bliss Completes Caribbean Inaugural Season
Norwegian Cruise Line, the innovator in cruise travel, today celebrates the end of Norwegian Bliss’ Caribbean season as well as her return to the West Coast for a summer of Mexican Riviera and Alaska cruising beginning April 14, 2019.

Departing tomorrow for the West Coast, Norwegian Bliss will cross the Panama Canal, returning to Los Angeles for Mexican Riviera sailings throughout April before joining sister ship, Norwegian Joy, in Seattle for a summer of Alaska cruising. Both ships are the largest to homeport on the West Coast and will continue to expand Norwegian’s presence and the popularity of cruising in the region.

“Norwegian Bliss continues to exceed our expectations as our guests and travel partners continue to truly enjoy her stunning design and innovative offerings,” said Andy Stuart, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line. “We are thrilled that Norwegian Bliss homeported in our home of Miami and we are looking forward to seeing her once again return to the West Coast to meet her sister, Norwegian Joy, for the first time.”

Norwegian Bliss has set a new standard for contemporary cruising and holds several world records on the West Coast, including being the largest ship to be christened in Seattle, homeport in Los Angeles, call to Vancouver and San Francisco, and traverse the new locks of the Panama Canal from both the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. Norwegian Bliss will return to the East Coast in November 2019 for a winter season of Caribbean cruising from New York City through early 2020.

Carnival Cruise Line Announces Cruise Director for Carnival Sunrise
Continuing to build excitement around next month’s debut of the totally transformed Carnival Sunrise, Carnival Cruise Line has announced that Christopher Williams will serve as cruise director and Katie Romitz as entertainment director for the ship’s inaugural season when it launches in April following an extensive dry dock.

Previously sailing as Carnival Triumph, the ship is currently undergoing a $200 million bow-to-stern transformation in Cadiz, Spain, and will re-emerge as Carnival Sunrise featuring all of the line’s popular, branded food, beverage and entertainment experiences.

Williams and Romitz will lead Carnival Sunrise’s vast array of entertainment offerings from legendary deck parties and hilarious shows at Punchliner Comedy Club to trivia games and audience favorites such as Hasbro, The Game Show; CLUE: The Murder Mystery; and, of course, the award-winning Playlist Productions shows.

An eight-year Carnival veteran, Williams, a native of Scotland – and best known as the “Flying Scotsman” – joined the company as a singer and Playlist Productions performer before being named cruise director, serving in this capacity on the line’s newest and largest ships. Known for his gregarious personality and easy banter with guests, Williams’ role as cruise director is to create a fun, engaging and welcoming environment while helping guests create lifelong vacation memories.

Romitz, who hails from Ontario, Canada, joined Carnival in 2013 as an entertainment host and was named media manager two years after where she focused on shipboard marketing channels such as FunTimes and the HUB App. Combining her love for travel, passion for cruising and keen attention to detail, Romitz was named entertainment director last year. She will oversee all of the ship’s entertainment options and will put her skills and enthusiasm into planning, organizing and scheduling the hundreds of activity and entertainment choices each week.

“Chris and Katie are the absolute perfect duo to introduce Carnival Sunrise,” said Chris Nelson, vice president of entertainment for Carnival Cruise Line. “Their energy and passion will help guests create wonderful vacation memories.”

Carnival Sunrise debuts April 29, 2019, with a seven-day Caribbean cruise from Norfolk, Va., followed by a series of five-and six-day Bahamas voyages from that port. The ship will then reposition to New York for a summer schedule of four- to 14-day departures commencing May 23, 2019, including sailings to Bermuda, New England and Canada. Beginning Oct. 28, 2019, Carnival Sunrise will shift to Fort Lauderdale to operate a winter schedule of cruises to the Caribbean, Cuba and Bahamas.

Carnival Sunrise will offer an array of popular culinary, beverage and entertainment offerings including guest favorites Fahrenheit 555 Steakhouse, Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse, The Chef’s Table, Cucina del Capitano, RedFrog Pub; as well as totally redesigned staterooms, including two luxurious Captain Suites adjacent to the bridge; an expanded WaterWorks aqua park; and Cloud 9 Spa, among other features.

Holland America Line Introduces New Craft Cocktail Menu
Holland America Line is introducing an exclusive craft cocktail menu developed by Master Mixologist Dale DeGroff — known as King Cocktail, author of two bestselling cocktail books and founding president of The Museum of the American Cocktail. The new craft cocktail menu of seven specialty drinks showcases the craft cocktail movement and embodies Holland America Line's commitment to being at the forefront of food and beverage trends. Four of the featured cocktails are destined to become modern classics and highlight young mixologists who are leaders in the craft cocktail movement.

Since 2016 DeGroff has directed Holland America Line's cocktail program to introduce new, innovative libations in the bars on board. Holland America Line ships currently feature a contemporary menu of artfully prepared signature cocktails, as well as some unique originals developed by the 2015 James Beard Who's Who of Food & Beverage in America inductee.

"Dale and our beverage team have put together an exceptional new craft cocktail menu that is an expressive collection of drinks created by some of the foremost experts in the craft cocktail world," said Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line. "We're continuously working with Dale to evolve our cocktail menus to be on the cutting edge of what's trending and what's going to resonate with our guests."

The new craft cocktail menu includes:

• Foggy Boulevardier: As impressive as it is delicious, this eclectic drink has a mysterious vibe thanks to its smoky presentation. This twist on a Boulevardier will be served in the Ocean Bar and feature Ratafia, a wine-based cherry liquor from Italy.

• Alliance: An original drink by DeGroff and Tony Abou-Ganim, an industry veteran and author of The Modern Mixologist: Contemporary Classic Cocktails. The Alliance was created for the Trade Board of Peru to feature the unique Peruvian brandy, pisco.

• Flor de Jerez: Created by Joaquin Simó at the famous Death & Co. craft cocktail bar in New York City.

• Oaxaca Old Fashioned: Phil Ward is an alumnus of both Death & Co. and Pegu Club, bars that defined the recent craft cocktail movement in New York City. He created this classic

• Old Fashioned variation that features agave spirits in place of whiskey.

• Penicillin: This is one of the rare, successful cocktails based on malt scotch whisky. Australian bartender Sam Ross paired an Islay whisky and a blended scotch with honey, lemon and ginger and created a modern classic.

• Red Hook: Enzo Enrico began as a barback at Milk & Honey in London and then moved to bartending at Milk & Honey, New York City. This is Enrico's tribute to New York's Red Hook neighborhood made famous by the 1954 classic movie On the Waterfront.

• Strange Brew: This unusual combination of a hoppy IPA brew, gin and pineapple was created by bartender Thomas Waugh at Death & Co in New York. Waugh is also director of bar operations at Major Food Group.

In addition to the new craft cocktail menu, DeGroff's signature cocktails are served in the Gallery Bar and in other shipboard bars and lounges, including the Ocean Bar, the Explorer's Lounge, the Crow's Nest and Tamarind Bar, as well as more casual outlets such as the Lido pool bar. The signature cocktail menu includes the Gallery Gimlet, Hemingway Daiquiri, Yuzu Margarita, The Ritz Cocktail, Whiskey and Joe, Another Shade of Greyhound, and a Slightly Less Than Perfect, Perfect Manhattan.

In addition to creating exclusive cocktails for all Holland America Line bars, DeGroff also oversees beverage staff training to ensure the cocktails are crafted to perfection.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 52.19 - 7.87%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 115.61 + 0.97%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 1.11 - 6.72%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 56.11 + 1.70%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Between the time she left Cunard's service in 1968 and her arrival in Hong Kong in 1971, the Queen Elizabeth spent time in what is now one of the most popular ports in North America. Where was she laid up during this time?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Some of the inside cabins P&O's s/s Canberra had an interesting feature that made them brighter than inside cabins on most other cruise ships. What was the feature?

Answer - The interesting feature that Canberra had that made some of the inside cabins were windows that looked out into a "court". These cabins, called "court cabins", were built in such a way that the they were staggered down the corridor and the wall of the innermost cabin jutted slightly passed that of the more outer cabin and had a window placed there - thus light from the outside would penetrate these inside cabins. They were usually 3 deep.
courtesy of Timothy Edgecombe


Cruise News - March 25, 2019

Viking Sky Reaches Port After Losing Engine Power During Heavy Seas
Viking Ocean Cruises' Viking Sky has safely arrived at the port of Molde in Norway after a harrowing ordeal that started when the ship's engines failed during a storm off the country's western coast on Saturday.

Viking Sky first broadcast a mayday signal after experiencing engine problems on Saturday in the Norwegian Sea. At the time, the ship was carrying nearly 1,400 passengers and crew, many of whom were senior citizens.

The engine trouble occurred in a stretch of waters known for rough, frigid waters called Hustadvika, which is known for "shallow waters dotted with reefs." To make matters worse, the engine problems came during a storm with strong winds gusting at a speed of roughly 79 feet per second, according to the Norwegian Meteorological Institute.

"It was very nearly a disaster. The ship drifted to within 100 meters of running aground before they were able to restart one of the engines," Hans Vik, who heads the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre for southern Norway, told TV2.

Dramatic rescues were underway on Saturday as passengers on the ship were airlifted on a wire one-by-one onto helicopters that hovered above while the ship tossed in the waves.

According to Norwegian authorities, a total of 479 people were evacuated, and by the time the ship arrived in the port of Molde on Norway's west coast, about 900 people were still on board. Officials for Viking Ocean Cruises said that 20 people suffered injuries.

Viking Sky’s March 27th sailing of Scandinavia & the Kiel Canal has been cancelled and guests and their travel agents have been contacted directly. Viking Ocean Cruises said that they did not anticipate any additional cancellations at this time.

New Mexican Cruise Line Announced
Vidanta, Grupo Vidanta's luxury vacationing brand, today announced its entry into cruising, transforming the industry by bringing new levels of luxury, comfort, and exclusivity to the Mexican coastline. Vidanta Cruises' first ship, Vidanta Elegant, will welcome members and guests aboard later this year, with its first voyage in the fall of 2019. This endeavor further distinguishes Grupo Vidanta as the only provider of luxury accommodations in Mexico operating both on land and sea

The launch of Vidanta Cruises marks Mexico's first-ever luxury cruise line. Voyage itineraries are currently being finalized and will provide access to routes that no other cruise line is offering. Through Vidanta Cruises, guests will experience the high-end luxury lifestyle of Vidanta, combined with the freedom and fulfillment of a cruise vacation.

"Vidanta is proud to bring a revolutionary new approach to cruising," said Iván Chávez, Executive Vice President of Grupo Vidanta. "We have built a legacy 45 years in the making based on the extraordinary luxury and personalized service offered by our resort vacations. Now we're extending that legacy to the open sea while utilizing our unique perspective as a Mexican company to give access to the hidden gems of the coastline and rarely offered transformative cultural experiences."

Vidanta Cruises' maiden vessel, Vidanta Elegant (formerly Crown Monarch, built in 1990), promises an unprecedented level of luxury. After acquiring a ship, Vidanta stripped and rebuilt it from the hull up, performing bespoke construction throughout. With the help of the best maritime engineers and architects in the world, including industry leader SMC Design, Vidanta Elegant will provide guests with an exceptionally sophisticated and stylish experience.

Boasting 149 beautiful staterooms and suites and a one-to-one passenger-to-crew ratio, Vidanta Elegant is a modern masterpiece of privacy and exclusivity. Each of the accommodations reflects comfort, style and spaciousness with stunning exterior views. By reducing the number of cabins, Vidanta was able to not only create a more intimate experience, but also to create sizable and striking accommodations more generous than suite-level units on traditional cruises. Guests will also enjoy the attentive service of a Personal Concierge assigned to their cabin available to attend to their every need.

At 153 meters long and 15,396 gross tons, the ship is also outfitted with six public decks and dining areas, 11 bars and lounges, an entertainment venue, a full-service spa and fitness center, a top deck pool and several jacuzzis. In order to create a dining experience that is second to none, Vidanta Elegant will feature two highly awarded culinary veterans as its signature chefs: Chef Eric Pansu, named Best Chef in France, and Pastry Chef Pascal Molines, named Best Pastry Chef in France and World Pastry Chef Champion.

The onboard amenities and services will ensure a relaxing and entertaining voyage while the destination excursions will showcase some of Mexico's best-kept secrets, including unique experiences and explorations of local culture and tradition. With an exceptionally exclusive sailing capacity of 298 passengers, guests will never have to worry about crowds or lines.

Vidanta Cruises will also offer a game-changing new benefit that will allow guests to experience the luxury of Vidanta both on land and at sea. With just one check-in, travelers will be able to seamlessly split their trip between Vidanta Nuevo Vallarta and Vidanta Elegant, giving them access to the best of both a cruise and resort vacation.

More information on itineraries, voyage length, destinations and cruising dates will be released as they are confirmed.

Carnival Corporation Reports First Quarter Earnings
Carnival Corporation & plc announced U.S. GAAP net income of $336 million, or $0.48 diluted EPS, for the first quarter of 2019, compared to U.S. GAAP net income for the first quarter of 2018 of $391 million, or $0.54 diluted EPS. First quarter 2019 adjusted net income of $338 million, or $0.49 adjusted EPS, compared to adjusted net income of $375 million, or $0.52 adjusted EPS, for the first quarter of 2018. Adjusted net income excludes net charges of $2 million for the first quarter of 2019 and net gains of $16 million for the first quarter of 2018 relating to unrealized gains on fuel derivatives net of other charges. Revenues for the first quarter of 2019 were $4.7 billion, higher than the $4.2 billion in the prior year.

Carnival Corporation & plc President and Chief Executive Officer Arnold Donald stated, "First quarter earnings included revenue growth from higher capacity and improved onboard spending, offset by the timing of cost increases and a drag from fuel price and currency compared to the prior year. First quarter adjusted earnings were better than the mid-point of December guidance by $0.07 per share."

Donald added, "For the full year, our earnings guidance now reflects $155 million, or $0.22 per share, from fuel price and currency moving against us. Operationally, we continue to expect revenues and adjusted earnings per share improvements in line with our December guidance. We expect adjusted earnings per share to be higher than the prior year, despite a $45 million, or $0.06 per share, year over year drag from currency and the price of fuel."

Highlights from the first quarter included the delivery of AIDAnova, the first cruise ship in the industry powered at sea by liquefied natural gas and the delivery of Costa Venezia, the first Costa ship designed for the Chinese market. Princess Cruises expanded its MedallionClass™ experience onboard Regal Princess, with three additional ships to follow in 2019. OceanMedallion™, the wearable device that powers the breakthrough guest experience platform behind MedallionClass vacations, was awarded the 2019 IoT Wearables Innovation of the Year. Additionally, Carnival Cruise Line was named the Best Ocean Cruise Line in the annual USA Today 10Best Readers' Choice Awards and Carnival Corporation was named by Forbes as one of America's best employers for diversity for its outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion.

2019 Outlook

At this time, cumulative advanced bookings for the remainder of 2019 are ahead of the prior year at prices that are in line with the prior year on a comparable basis. Pricing on bookings taken since January have been running in line on a comparable basis to the prior year while booking volumes are ahead compared to the prior year. As a result, even with higher capacity, there is less inventory remaining for sale than at the same time last year.

Donald added, "Booking trends achieved during wave season rivaled last years' historical highs and were consistent with the demand trends we experienced going into the year, building further confidence in our full year guidance. For our North America and Australia brands, our booked position is ahead of the prior year at higher prices while our Europe and Asia brands are well ahead of the prior year at lower prices. Our brands are strong and growing, including Continental Europe, where we continue to expect revenue growth driven by double-digit capacity increases."

Based on current booking trends, Carnival said that it continues to expect full year 2019 constant currency net cruise revenues to be up approximately 5.5 percent, with capacity growth of 4.6 percent, and net revenue yields in constant currency expected to be up approximately 1.0 percent compared to the prior year driven by our NAA brands. Carnival said that it continues to expect full year net cruise costs excluding fuel per ALBD in constant currency to be up approximately 0.5 percent compared to the prior year.

Taking the above factors into consideration, Carnival said that it expects full year 2019 adjusted earnings per share to be in the range of $4.35 to $4.55, compared to December guidance of $4.50 to $4.80, due to changes in fuel price and currency exchange rates and 2018 adjusted earnings per share of $4.26.

Donald commented, "We believe we are on a path that includes delivering, over time, double-digit earnings growth and improving return on invested capital through a consistent strategy of creating demand in excess of measured capacity growth while leveraging our industry leading scale." Carnival said that it invested more than $250 million in share repurchases during the quarter, bringing the cumulative total to nearly $5 billion since late 2015.

Second Quarter 2019 Outlook

Second quarter constant currency net revenue yields are expected to be in line with the prior year. Net cruise costs excluding fuel per ALBD in constant currency for the second quarter are expected to be up approximately 1.0 percent compared to the prior year. Changes in fuel prices and currency exchange rates are expected to decrease earnings by $0.08 per share compared to the prior year. Based on the above factors, Carnival said that it expects adjusted earnings per share for the second quarter 2019 to be in the range of $0.56 to $0.60 versus 2018 adjusted earnings per share of $0.68.

Princess Cruises And Fincantieri Sign Contracts For Two Next-Generation Cruise Ships
Princess Cruises and Fincantieri announced today the signing of the final contracts for the construction of two next-generation 175,000-ton cruise ships, which will be the largest ships ever built so far in Italy, with deliveries scheduled in Monfalcone in late 2023 and in spring 2025. This announcement follows the initial signing of a memorandum of agreement between the two parties in July 2018.

The vessels will each accommodate approximately 4,300 guests and will be based on a next-generation platform design, being the first Princess Cruises ships to be dual-fuel powered primarily by Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG). LNG is the marine industry's most environmentally friendly advanced fuel technology and the world's cleanest fossil fuel, which will significantly reduce air emissions and marine gasoil usage.

"Princess Cruises continues to grow globally -- adding new ships to our fleet built by our long-time trusted ship building partner, Fincantieri, who brings decades of expertise to these next-generation cruise ships," said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises President. "Even more exciting is that these two ships are being designed to include our MedallionClass platform, powered by OceanMedallion, the most advanced wearable device available within the global hospitality industry."

Giuseppe Bono, CEO of Fincantieri, commented on the announcement: "This result proves, once again, the trust we receive from the market, which allows us to look to the future with ambition. It honors our great work focused on innovation thanks to which we have been able to offer to the client a record-breaking proposal not only in terms of size. Besides we firmly believe that a new class of Princess Cruises' ships, one of Carnival Group's top brands, can stem from this promising project. In fact, for Princess Cruises, we have received orders for 21 ships, another unprecedented result in this industry."

Celebrity Summit Returns After Extensive Refit
Celebrity Summit is ready to turn heads after completing a dramatic transformation. The ship's revitalization is the next chapter of THE CELEBRITY REVOLUTION, Celebrity Cruises' extensive modernization effort, with more than $500-million in upgrades across the fleet.

The all-new Celebrity Summit's revolutionary enhancements include:

• Completely redesigned staterooms and suites

• The addition of The Retreat for suite guests, with exclusive new sundeck and redesigned lounge

• Stunningly reimagined restaurants, bars and lounges Fully redesigned spa and casino

"Celebrity Summit is one of the most popular ships in the Celebrity Cruises fleet and we're excited to share the revolutionized design with the world," said Lisa Lutoff-Perlo,

President and CEO, Celebrity Cruises. "Celebrity Summit is better than she's ever been – with modernized spaces and exciting new experiences, and she's the first of our ships to feature our partnerships with American Ballet Theatre and Chef Daniel Boulud."

"Nearly every space on Celebrity Summit has been modernized, with attention paid to the smallest detail," said Brian Abel, Senior Vice President, Hotel Operations, Celebrity Cruises. "We couldn't be more proud of the work that our teams have done for Summit's ship's 'Revolution' and the months of hard work leading up to this moment."

Celebrity Summit's bow-to-stern transformation began on February 17, 2019, in Freeport, Grand Bahama. It spent a total of 31 days in the skilled hands of thousands of engineers, architects, artisans, designers, contractors and members of the Celebrity team who collaborated to ensure flawless execution of the ship's dramatic modernization.

When updating staterooms and suites, every detail was thought through, with guest comfort at the forefront. Celebrity collaborated with renowned international hospitality firm Hirsch Bedner Associates (HBA) to transform the staterooms, while turning to famed designer Kelly Hoppen, MBE, to refresh the gorgeous suites and bring The Retreat to Celebrity Summit.

Enhancements made to the staterooms and suites include:

• All-new stateroom design in partnership with HBA and refreshed suite design by Kelly Hoppen

• Celebrity's eXhale bedding featuring luxurious Cashmere mattresses

• Completely redesigned stateroom bathrooms, with state-of-the-art finishes and fixtures

• An all-new exclusive open-air hideaway – known as The Retreat Sundeck – for suite guests designed by Hoppen, featuring a new hot tub, cabanas, loungers, artwork, and more

• The Retreat Lounge – formerly Michael's Club – an exclusive 24/7 lounge for suite guests designed by Hoppen, offering complimentary beverages, gourmet bites and concierge service

• A total of 30 new staterooms, including 13 new AquaClass Staterooms, seven new Ocean View Staterooms and 10 new Inside Staterooms

Celebrity seized this transformational opportunity and reimagined many of the restaurants and lounges found on Celebrity Summit. In collaboration with renowned New York hospitality design firm BG Studio International, a longtime partner of Celebrity, the brand revealed:

• A transformed Oceanview Cafe´, featuring a new open concept, increased seating options, and delicious, globally inspired culinary offerings

• A revitalized Main Dining Room with more seating and updated fixtures, including the eye-catching ceiling design featuring interlocking metal rings and lighting

• A reimagined Sunset Bar, featuring a variety of inviting seating options perfect for alfresco dining or cocktails with a view

• A reimagined Rendezvous Lounge, perfect for hosting events and entertainment from day to night.

Guests will find luxurious enhancements across the ship including:

• Xcelerate Wi-Fi throughout the ship, and the addition of RFID lock technology with digital key

• Boutiques featuring some of the hottest designers in the world including Shinola, John Hardy, and TAG Heuer

• A new, wellness-focused spa design for Canyon Ranch at Sea, transforming the treatment rooms, salon, fitness center, and locker rooms

• A new, semi-private consultation area in the fitness center for personal training and consultations

• An enhanced Persian Garden thermal suite, where therapeutic spaces and experiences, such as Turkish bath, infrared sauna, and salt therapy

• An enhanced Art Gallery and Photo Gallery, plus a sleek and sophisticated new design for The Casino both in partnership with HBA

• A redesigned Casino Bar, poised to be one of the most exciting places aboard to celebrate

• State-of-the-art slot machines that make The Casino one of the most cutting-edge gaming experiences at sea

Celebrity Summit is just the second "Revolutionary" redesign for the brand, with Celebrity Equinox scheduled to enter dry-dock in May 2019 and six more ships to be modernized by 2023.

Royal Princess Arrives For Her Maiden West Coast Season
At the Port of Los Angeles today a Royal Princess arrived – that is, the 3,560-guest Princess Cruises ship – now here to take travelers to sought-after destinations including the Mexican Riviera, the California Coast and Alaska. In celebration of Royal Princess' maiden call to the Port of Los Angeles and the cruise line's biggest West Coast cruise season, a "Royal" fanfare marked the occasion highlighting the arrival of one of Princess Cruises' newest and most elegant ships.

Princess Cruises has the longest history of any cruise line to sail from the Port of Los Angeles, not to mention its celebrity status as the ocean-going co-star to the many exciting stories of romance and adventure on the high seas that were told on the hit TV series, "The Love Boat."

To mark the ship's maiden call and celebrate her West Coast season, the iconic University of Southern California Trojan Marching Band, under the direction of Dr. Arthur C. Bartner, provided pageantry and fanfare for guests sailing on Royal Princess from a grand location onboard Battleship IOWA. As Royal Princess departed and sounded its "Love Boat" harmony-tuned horn, the USC Marching Band then played back the beloved theme song.

Guests and well-wishers were then treated to a fireworks display as Royal Princess departed on her very first seven-day Mexican Riviera cruise – the same itinerary made famous by Princess and "The Love Boat."

Royal Princess sails weekly to the Mexican Riviera from Los Angeles (San Pedro) now through April 27, then sails north to Vancouver for a season of Alaska cruises exploring The Great Land before returning to Los Angeles in September where the ship will homeport for six months, continuing cruises to Alaska, the Mexican Riviera and the California coast.

Royal Princess is a MedallionClass ship powered by the OceanMedallion, the most advanced wearable device in the global hospitality industry, delivering a hassle-free, personalized vacation that gives guests more time to enjoy what they love most about cruising.

Award-winning features aboard Royal Princess include the large atrium or "Piazza," offering enticing entertainment and culinary delights; the overwater SeaWalk – a 60-foot-long glass walkway standing 128 feet above the ocean; an expansive Lotus Spa and adults-only Retreat Pool and Sanctuary.

Royal Princess first debuted in Southampton in June 2013, and was officially named by Her Royal Highness, Catherine, The Duchess of Cambridge. The original Royal Princess (1984) was christened by Princess Diana.

Three HAL Ships Explore the Mexican Riviera in 2019-2020
Holland America Line guests looking to bask in the Mexican Riviera's sun-kissed climate and vibrant culture will have 20 cruises and three ships to choose from between October 2019 and April 2020. A seven-day series of itineraries will be offered aboard Oosterdam and Eurodam, while Maasdam's popular EXC In-Depth Voyages expand to Mexico in 2020. All of the regular-season cruises conveniently sail roundtrip from San Diego, California.

Each itinerary features three Mexican ports of call, including an overnight at Puerto Vallarta, providing extra time to take a zip-line tour through the lush Sierra Madre Mountains, go whale-watching in Banderas Bay or take a side trip to one of Mexico's enchanting Pueblos Magicos. All cruises also include calls at the popular Mexican ports of Mazatlán and Cabo San Lucas.

"Mexico continues to be a top cruise choice among our guests because it offers such a rich experience, from warm weather and beautiful beaches to diverse cultural and culinary landscapes," said Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line. "By visiting several iconic ports within this captivating country, we're able to provide guests with an authentic, immersive experience that leaves them with a deeper understanding of this colorful part of the world."

Oosterdam kicks off the season Oct. 6, 2019, with one of 14 seven-day cruises offered through April 18, 2020, including two holiday departures Dec. 21 and Dec. 28. Guests can enjoy an identical itinerary aboard Eurodam Oct. 19, Nov. 2 and Nov. 9, 2019. Cruisers interested in a longer sailing can extend Eurodam's Oct. 19 voyage by embarking four days earlier at Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, for an 11-day cruise that adds a call at Santa Barbara, California.

For an even deeper exploration of the Mexican Riviera, Maasdam's 12-day EXC In-Depth Voyage departs April 3 and April 15, 2020, and includes seven Mexican ports that rim the Sea of Cortez. Along with Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlán and Puerto Vallarta, guests will enjoy La Paz, Loreto, Guaymas and Topolobampo. Maasdam's April 15 departure can be extended for an 18-day Collectors' Voyage that also visits Santa Barbara, Monterey and San Francisco, California, before arriving at Victoria then Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, where guests will disembark.

Throughout the voyages, EXC programming brings Mexico's local traditions, culinary tastes and cultural experiences to life on board. Through EXC Encounters, a mariachi band in traditional attire will perform onboard, while a barbecue on Lido Deck features authentic Mexican dishes. Guests who want to learn more about the country can attend an EXC Talk by an EXC Guide or head to America's Test Kitchen for a cooking demonstration, cooking class or themed mixology class featuring local fare. The Dining Room and Lido Market also will showcase the flavors of Mexico, while bars will offer a variety of Mexican liquors and ingredients.

The EXC Team will provide further talks/lectures for the Mexican calls, and the in-stateroom EXC Channel will feature a selection of curated films, documentaries and TV shows exploring destinations on the ship's itinerary.

Mexico cruises feature a diverse selection of shore excursions that allow guests to immersively experience each port of call. Tours focus on culture, history, nature, architecture, adventure, culinary and family outings. Exclusive culinary-themed FOOD & WINE shore excursions showcase the regions' food scene from a local perspective.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 56.65 - 1.22%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 114.50 - 3.20%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 1.198 - 2.46%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 55.17 - 1.76%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Some of the inside cabins P&O's s/s Canberra had an interesting feature that made them brighter than inside cabins on most other cruise ships. What was the feature?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
This week's question comes from our...Before they were Stars...file. Before she became famous as one of the original "Love Boats" the Pacific Princess sailed from New York to Bermuda under this name.

Answer - he Pacific Princess, the original "Love Boat" sailed as the Sea Venture before being sold to Princess Cruises in 1973.
courtesy of Larry P. MacDonald


Cruise News - March 18, 2019

Port Canaveral Cruise Terminal 3 Is ‘Go for Launch’
At a space-themed ceremony today, the Canaveral Port Authority and longtime cruise partner Carnival Cruise Line officially broke ground for construction of Port Canaveral’s new Cruise Terminal 3 complex. The new terminal, dubbed the Launch Pad, will be the home of Mardi Gras, the cruise line’s newest and most innovative ship, beginning in 2020. Port Authority Commissioners and the Port’s leadership team joined Carnival Cruise Line executives for the ceremonial groundbreaking at the project site as NASA’s “Spaceman” planted a Carnival Cruise Line flag on a simulated lunar landscape.

The event theme, “Go for Launch,” was a nod to the Port’s key role with the U.S. space program and the terminal’s futuristic design, which was inspired by nearby Kennedy Space Center. The $163 million terminal project – the largest in the Port’s 65-year history – is scheduled for completion in May 2020 and will be ready for the arrival of Mardi Gras to her year-round Port Canaveral homeport in October 2020.

“Today’s groundbreaking is a historic milestone for our Port and underscores the long-standing partnership we have with Carnival,” Port CEO Capt. John Murray said. “The trust and confidence we’ve earned with our great cruise partner has been the foundation of success and we are excited for what the future holds. We’re building a great new terminal, for an innovative new ship, and looking forward to welcoming home Mardi Gras.”

Added Carnival President Christine Duffy, “We began our operations from Port Canaveral nearly 30 years ago – coincidentally with our original ship of the same name. We’ve had a great relationship with Port Canaveral during that time and we’re proud, honored and excited that our newest and most innovative ship, Mardi Gras, will sail from the new Terminal 3. We are pleased to be the port’s number one cruise line and Mardi Gras promises to be a spectacular addition to the Space Coast.”

Port Canaveral and Carnival Cruise Line executives held a “pre-launch mission” news conference complete with a mock countdown, then grabbed shovels on the terminal construction site for the ceremonial first dig to officially kick off construction. Participants included Wayne Justice, Canaveral Port Authority Commissioner; Christine Duffy, President, Carnival Cruise Line; Capt. John Murray, Port Canaveral CEO; Micah Loyd, Canaveral Port Authority Commission Chairman; Jerry Allender, Canaveral Port Authority Commissioner; Rocky Johnson, Vice President, Ivey’s Construction Inc.; and Scott Bakos, Partner with Bermello Ajamil & Partners Inc., a Miami firm providing architecture and engineering design work for the project.

“We are proud to be building this state-of-the-art facility and looking forward to providing Carnival’s cruise guests with a first-class guest experience,” Port Commissioner Wayne Justice said. “Building the new cruise terminal, like each of our construction projects at Port Canaveral, is an investment in building our community.”

The contract to build the two-story, 187,000 sq. ft. terminal facility and adjacent six-story parking garage was awarded to Merritt Island, Florida-based Ivey’s Construction. The terminal will feature a high-tech baggage processing facility and a state-of-the-art check-in and security area on its second floor, with kiosks and seating for 1,700 guests. The six-story 692,000 sq. ft. parking garage will accommodate 1,800 vehicles.

Construction of the cruise terminal’s marine facility got underway last year with a contract awarded to Titusville, Florida-based contractor RUSH Marine to remove the existing pier structures at the site and build a new 1,309-foot-long berth for Mardi Gras. Substantial completion of the project is scheduled for December 2019.

Port Canaveral’s Launch Pad will be homeport to Carnival’s largest and most innovative cruise ship, Mardi Gras, which will be powered by liquified natural gas (LNG) – part of Carnival Corporation’s “green cruising” platform. Mardi Gras will be the first cruise ship in North America to be powered by this clean fuel technology. Port Canaveral has worked with federal, state and local public safety and regulatory officials to ensure the Port’s safety readiness for the ship’s arrival. Fuel providers will employ widely used and proven safe best practices of a ship-to-ship “bunkering” refueling, which is regulated by the U.S. Coast Guard.

Currently under construction in Meyer Turku, Finland, Mardi Gras will arrive at Port Canaveral mid-October 2020 and will feature BOLT, the first roller coaster at sea, 20 passenger decks and six distinctive theme zones of fun, dining and entertainment: Grand Central; the French Quarter with Emeril’s Bistro 1396, the first restaurant at sea created by famed New Orleans chef Emeril Lagasse; La Piazza; Summer Landing; Lido; and the Ultimate Playground.

After a special eight-day cruise to the Caribbean on Oct. 16, 2020, Mardi Gras will commence year-round seven-day cruises on Oct. 24, 2020, alternating weekly to the Eastern and Western Caribbean. Eastern voyages will take Mardi Gras to San Juan, Puerto Rico, Amber Cove, Dominican Republic, and Grand Turk in the Turks and Caicos, while Western sailings will travel to Cozumel and Costa Maya, Mexico, and Mahogany Bay (Isla Roatan), Honduras.

Norwegian Cruise Line Unveils Photos of Norwegian Sky’s 2019 Bow-To-Stern Renovation
Norwegian Cruise Line today released photos of the completed refurbishments of Norwegian Sky as part of the Norwegian Edge program, reaffirming the company’s commitment to elevating the standard of excellence across the fleet.

Following a three-week dry dock in Freeport, Bahamas, Norwegian Sky recently returned to her homeport of Miami showcasing new venues, updated spaces and completely redesigned staterooms and corridors, elevating the experience for guests looking for shorter vacation getaways.

“Last year was an exciting year with the record-breaking launch of Norwegian Bliss, the announcement of Norwegian Joy’s redeployment to the U.S. and the unveiling of four ships which benefited from our comprehensive Norwegian Edge® bow-to-stern refurbishment program,” said Andy Stuart, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line. “We are continuing the momentum and starting 2019 with the reintroduction of Norwegian Sky. She returned home to Miami unveiling new designs and experiences that showcase our dedication to providing guests with meaningful experiences across our fleet.”

All food and beverage outlets were updated, and eight new venues were introduced to Norwegian Sky. These include the pub-style eatery The Local Bar & Grill; La Cucina for classic Italian fare; Sugarcane Mojito Bar; Topsiders, the poolside bar; late night venues, Bliss Ultra Lounge and Spinnaker Lounge; a full-service Starbucks® licensed store; and new to the Norwegian fleet - Pinnacle Lounge and Sushi Bar, which provides guests with a relaxed yet elevated atmosphere to enjoy original and traditional sushi concepts while taking in the endless views of the ocean through floor-to-ceiling windows.

Other upgrades include the complimentary Palace and Crossings Main Dining Rooms, Garden Café and The Great Outdoors; and specialty restaurants Cagney’s and Le Bistro. All bars and lounges on board were also refreshed.

All 1,002 staterooms were upgraded with new televisions and USB outlets, as well as brand new carpet, artwork, furniture, lighting and balcony decking. The ship’s four 835-square-foot Owner’s Suites feature refreshed bathrooms and private hot tubs.

The Atrium, the epicenter of the ship, has been revitalized with an entirely refreshed look including updated flooring, refurbished reception and shore excursion desk areas and the addition of lounge seating. Pool deck enhancements include new flooring and furniture, the installation of additional canopies and an updated beach area.

A year-round resident of PortMiami, Norwegian Sky offers three-and-four-day cruises to the Bahamas, and four-and-five-day cruises to Bahamas and Cuba with an overnight in Havana. She calls to Great Stirrup Cay, the company’s private island, and is one of two ships in the fleet to offer an all-inclusive experience on select sailings.

Three Holland America Line Ships Set Sail for Canada and New England in 2020
In 2020 Holland America Line's Amsterdam, Zaandam and Zuiderdam will transport guests to the stunning coastlines and historic cities of Canada and New England on more than 40 cruises. Sailing one of the most robust seasons in the industry between April and October, guests can select from among 10 itineraries ranging from six to 14 days.

During the summer months, cruisers will have even more sailings to choose from when Amsterdam joins Zaandam to offer additional Canada & New England Discovery cruises between Boston, Massachusetts, and Montréal, Québec — giving guests more opportunities to explore Maine's spectacular Acadia National Park or Cape Breton's incredible Bird Islands.

"Canada and New England is a spectacular destination for cruising and more travelers are discovering its abundance of charm, deep maritime history, art, architecture and culinary diversity," said Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line. "For many, it's a close-to-home destination waiting to be explored, while others come from around the world to experience its uniqueness and culturally rich ports. The growing popularity of the region and attractiveness to all ages is why we're offering three ships on an extended summer and fall sailing season."

Beginning in April, Amsterdam, Zaandam and Zuiderdam sail a diverse collection of six-, seven-, eight-, 10-, 11- and 14-day cruises departing from Boston; Fort Lauderdale, Florida; New York City, New York; and Montréal and Québec City, Québec, in Canada. The cruises will feature calls at some of the region's most iconic destinations, including Canada's Charlottetown, Sydney and Halifax, as well as Bar Harbor, Maine.

On April 21, 2020, Zaandam kicks off the Canada and New England spring season with an 11-day Atlantic Coast cruise. Departing from Fort Lauderdale, the ship will call at Newport; Boston; Bar Harbor; Halifax and Sydney, Nova Scotia; Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island; and Québec City, before concluding at Montréal. The Amsterdam will sail a similar itinerary departing May 26, with a port of call in Portland, Maine, and scenic cruising along the Saint Lawrence River.

From May through September 2020, both Amsterdam and Zaandam offer a series of seven-day Canada & New England Discovery cruises between Montréal and Boston, featuring calls at Boston, Bar Harbor, Halifax, Sydney, Charlottetown and Québec City, as well as cruising in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Special six and eight-day itineraries are featured departing Oct. 3 and Oct. 9, respectively.

Zaandam offers a new seven-day Historic Coasts cruise in 2020, as well as a 14-day Atlantic Coast cruise. The Historic Coasts cruise departs Aug. 22 sailing roundtrip from Boston and includes calls at Portland, Maine; Saint John, New Brunswick; Halifax; Sydney; and Bar Harbor. The 14-day Atlantic Coast cruise departs Montréal Oct. 17 and calls at Québec City and Baie-Comeau, Québec; Charlottetown; Sydney; Halifax; Bar Harbor; Boston; New York; and Charleston, South Carolina, before ending at Fort Lauderdale.

In September, Zuiderdam launches the fall season with three 10-day Colors of Canada & New England cruises between New York and Québec City. On Sept. 7 and 27, Zuiderdam will depart New York and call at Boston, Bar Harbor, Halifax, Sydney, Charlottetown and Québec City, where guests will enjoy an overnight stay before disembarking. A similar itinerary is available Sept. 17 departing Québec City, where guests will enjoy an overnight stay on board prior to the cruise departure.

These cruises feature cruising through the Gulf of St. Lawrence and Saguenay Fjord, where the jewel-toned hues of the fall foliage present a dazzling display of color.

Zuiderdam sails an 11-day Atlantic Coast cruise departing Québec City Oct. 7, calling at Charlottetown, Sydney, Halifax, Bar Harbor, Boston, Newport and New York, before concluding at Fort Lauderdale.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises Reveals Seven Seas Splendor
In anticipation of the newest cruise ship joining its fleet, Regent Seven Seas Cruises announced in January details of the Regent Suite on Seven Seas Splendor, the largest and most elegant suite ever built on a luxury ship. The lavish Regent Suite sets the tone for all 14 other suite categories on Seven Seas Splendor. Today, Regent reveals additional details of all guest suite categories, further establishing Seven Seas Splendor as the ship that will perfect luxury when she debuts in February 2020. Images are available here.

Luxury is found in intricate details, exquisite finishings and enormous balcony space. More than 46,000 square-feet of Italian marble will adorn Seven Seas Splendor -- more than an acre of marble -- including the marble-detailed bathrooms in each of her 375 guest suites. Nearly 52,000 square-feet of balcony space is found on the all-balcony vessel -- larger than the size of an American football field and averaging 138 square feet of balcony space per suite. Approximately 500 crystal chandeliers will illuminate the ship's interior.

"Perfecting luxury is about obsessing over large and small details," explains Regent Seven Seas Cruises President and CEO Jason Montague. "From specially commissioned one-of-a-kind artwork to visually stimulating touches throughout the ship, each space on Seven Seas Splendor will display finely tailored designs that offer a comfortable and stylish experience for luxury travelers. With an expansive passenger-to-space ratio and an exceptionally low guest-to-crew ratio, Seven Seas Splendor will be one of the world's most spacious, intimate and beautiful ships ever to sail the globe."

Distinctive Suites
The Master, Grand, Splendor and Seven Seas suite categories represent the 32 Distinctive Suites on board Seven Seas Splendor. Guests in Distinctive Suites enjoy personalized butler service, guaranteed dining reservations and customized pillows and bath products, among other amenities. These suites are designed to blend comfort and luxury, focusing on impeccable details, exquisite high-contrast materials and lush jewel-toned accents. The suites are designed by Studio Dado, Tillberg Design, and Total Solution Interiors.

Master Suite. This two-bedroom oasis is styled like an elegant Park Avenue palace, replete with rich woods and highlighted by touches of aubergine. Located at the aft of the ship on decks eight and nine allowing for unobstructed views of the horizon, the four Master Suites measure between 1,895 and 2,108 square-feet and boast an expansive living area, exquisite bar for entertaining, spacious balconies up to 994 square-feet, and two full ornate marble and stone bathrooms.

Grand Suite. The Grand Suite features striking emerald design accents perfected by rich grey, brown, and cream tones. Ranging from 1,277 to 1,836 square-feet, the Grand Suite features an expansive private balcony, two majestic baths, and living areas with rich stone mosaics, exotic woods and curated furniture based on haute couture fashion. Craftsmanship is foremost on display with bespoke detailing, and an upholstered leather wall in an intricate stitch pattern serves as the backdrop for the bedroom. With ample space, the suite features a living room with a wrapped-leather floor-to-ceiling bar -- ideal for entertaining.

Splendor Suite. Ranging in size from 821 to 918 square-feet, the one bedroom, one-and-a-half-bathroom Splendor Suites are designed with calming hues of cream, grey and brown, and plush furniture. It features a dining table for in-room service, spacious closet, and an elegant marble and stone-detailed bath.

Seven Seas Suite. This sanctuary offers more than 800 square-feet of exquisite space, and exudes a cosmopolitan apartment feel with a soothing color palette complemented by plush furnishings. The suite flows effortlessly from living room to dining area to bedroom, with sliding glass doorways leading to a spacious private balcony. A magnificent marble bathroom sits adjacent to the oversized bedroom and large walk-in closet.

Spacious Suites
The Penthouse, Concierge, Superior, Deluxe Veranda and Veranda suite categories are purposefully designed to maximize ocean views that can be enjoyed from the solace of a large private balcony. Along with the heavenly comfort of Elite Slumber beds, guests enjoy spacious closets, plush bathrobes and slippers, an included mini-bar stocked daily, and many other prime amenities.

Penthouse Suite. Conjuring elegance from floor to ceiling and complete with personalized butler service, the 55 sapphire-inspired Penthouse Suites come in three categories that range up to 642 square-feet, with an entertainment center that separates the living room and bedroom. Sleek sliding glass doorways in both the bedroom and living room lead to an oversized balcony with comfortable outdoor furnishings. Even the smallest of luxury details are included such as lined jewelry drawers to designated spaces for designer handbags. A perfected luxury from Seven Seas Explorer, Seven Seas Splendor's sister ship, can be found in the closets. Penthouse Suites on Seven Seas Splendor will include larger expansive walk-in closets designed with two entries from the bathroom and living room. In addition, bathrooms have been designed for additional storage and counter space.

Concierge Suites. Concierge Suites are highlighted by a soothing color palette of creams and blushes that inspire serenity and comfort. This 464 square-foot suite aboard Seven Seas Splendor comes in two categories and is purposefully designed to maximize ocean views, with the custom-crafted Elite Slumber Beds facing the private balcony, allowing guests front row access to stunning ocean scenery. Skilled master craftsmen adorn headboards with the finest shagreen leather, and furniture is upholstered with the most elegant Italian fabrics. Guests who stay in a Concierge Suite or a higher category suite enjoy a free one-night pre-cruise hotel package.

Superior Suite. Spacious and chic, the 464 square-foot Superior Suite is filled with light and peaceful serenity that comes with expansive ocean views. Its two categories feature a grand balcony, spacious sitting area and residential-like walk-in closet.

Deluxe Veranda and Veranda Suites. The two-category Deluxe Veranda and Veranda suites on Seven Seas Splendor are up to 361 and 307 square feet respectively, placing them among the most spacious entry-level suites at sea. They feature a warm island manor feel and boast curtains that separate the bedroom, with vanity and sitting area outfitted with a plush sofa, a coffee table large enough for in-suite dining, and a large desk space.

Observation Lounge
In addition to suite designs, Regent today announced the interior design of the Observation Lounge on board Seven Seas Splendor. The Observation Lounge, designed by Studio DADO, inspires the feeling of an enchanting English garden. Incorporating a light and airy color palette, the Observation Lounge's centerpiece is a unique and stunning whimsical chandelier comprised of hand-painted porcelain flowers, peonies and roses. Traditional English architectural molding adorn the walls and are colored in neutral hues to create a contemporary, elegant setting. The furniture adds to the tranquil nature of the space through its soft curved forms and lush upholsteries inspired by the fluid forms of flower petals. Specially commissioned art by Gorman Studios incorporates hand-painted English roses and flowers on glass screens to reflect the look of porcelain chandeliers.

Viking Expands European River Fleet With Launch Of Seven New Ships
Viking today welcomed the latest additions to its river fleet, with the naming of seven new river ships during a celebration on the Rhine River in Basel, Switzerland. Of the seven ships, six are Viking Longships – Viking Einar, Viking Sigrun, Viking Sigyn, Viking Tir, Viking Ullur and Viking Vali – which will be deployed on Viking's most popular itineraries on the Rhine, Main and Danube Rivers. The seventh new ship – Viking Helgrim – was inspired by the Longships design and built specifically for the Douro River, bringing the company's total number of sister ships in Portugal to four.

This launch of new river ships is Viking's latest milestone as the company continues to expand and dominate industry awards. Just two weeks ago, Viking swept Cruise Critic's 2019 Cruisers' Choice Awards with 11 First Place Wins – including the new "Best for River Cruises" category – and just last month the company took delivery of its sixth ocean ship, Viking Jupiter, which will be named in Oslo on June 6. In addition, Viking was again named the #1 River Cruise Line by Condé Nast Traveler in the publication's 2018 Readers' Choice Awards, and Travel + Leisure readers named Viking a #1 Ocean Cruise Line and one of the World's Best River Cruise Lines in the 2018 World's Best Awards.

"We began hosting guests on the rivers of Russia 22 years ago, and we have always done things differently. We focus on the destination, and we provide travel experiences that allow our guests to learn, to enrich their lives and to explore the world in comfort. It is 'The Viking Difference' that has made us the leading river cruise line in the world – and has helped river cruising become one of the fastest-growing segments of travel," said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking. "As the leader, it is also important that we recognize those who have helped us achieve success. This year I am especially proud to honor members of the Viking family as godmothers of our newest river ships."

In keeping with a maritime tradition that dates back thousands of years, Viking invited seven long-serving employees and important members of the company's family to serve as honorary godmothers of the new ships.

• Leah Talactac, Godmother of Viking Einar

• Natalia Hofmann, Godmother of Viking Helgrim

• Wendy Atkin-Smith, Godmother of Viking Sigrun

• Rikke Semb Pertile, Godmother of Viking Sigyn

• Gisela Rückert, Godmother of Viking Tir

• Linh Banh, Godmother of Viking Ullur

• Minxuan Zhao, Godmother of Viking Vali

The naming event was executed by connecting the new ships via satellite across four European cities. Viking Einar and Viking Sigrun were docked in Basel and named by in-person by their godmothers. The other five ships were "virtually" named by their godmothers: Viking Sigyn and Viking Ullur in Rostock, Germany; Viking Tir and Viking Vali in Brunsbüttel, Germany; and Viking Helgrim in Porto, Portugal. In keeping with another maritime tradition, a bottle of Gammel Opland aquavit was broken on the bow of each new ship. Gammel Opland hails from the same county in Norway where Chairman Hagen's mother, Ragnhild – also lovingly known as "Mamsen" – was born and was her favorite brand of aquavit. Following the naming event, guests enjoyed dinner at Basel's Fondation Beyeler museum, set amidst the museum's newest and most ambitious exhibition: The Young Picasso. Blue and Rose Periods. Guests were also treated to a performance by Alma Deutscher, the 14-year-old English composer, pianist, violinist, and child prodigy – who is a favorite of Chairman Hagen's.

Virgin Voyages Announces Casting Tour For 2020 Productions On Board Scarlet Lady
Virgin Voyages and their Creative Collective, tasked with curating original and uniquely Virgin entertainment experiences, are launching a worldwide casting tour for the company's inaugural season. Virgin Voyages is seeking best in-class performers and personalities who will bring to life bespoke experiences, created exclusively for the new Adult-by-Design cruise line, launching its first ship – the Scarlet Lady – in April 2020.

In partnership with RWS Entertainment Group, the casting search for outstanding talent to star in the Creative Collective's first-run original programming begins on March 27 in New York City before traveling to Europe, Australia and back to the United States. Rehearsals are scheduled to begin in January 2020. The complete audition tour schedule is:

• March 27-29: New York City

• April 2-5: London

• April 8-9: Berlin

• April 12-13: Sydney

• April 15-16: Melbourne

• April 22-23: Orlando

• April 25-26: Chicago

• April 28-May 1: Las Vegas

"Just like our sister brands in the Virgin family, our diverse crew is what makes us great," said Richard Kilman, Vice President, Entertainment for Virgin Voyages. "We don't just want a performer, we want incredible people to join us and bring their true selves. Our Creative Collective will be attending auditions as well as directing rehearsals and installing our shows onboard Scarlet Lady, so these artists will have the opportunity to work with some of the best in the business."

Virgin Voyages Creative Collective in Entertainment includes The 7 Fingers, Randy Weiner, Ani Taj and Sam Pinkleton, PigPen Theatre Co., Roslyn Hart and Alfredo Guenzani, and the SPARK Cooperative. Additionally, in breaking with cruise tradition, Virgin Voyages will replace the traditional cruise director role with a cast of dynamic personalities to headline "Happenings" around the ship, including drag performers, artists/painters, fitness gurus, foodies and more.

The Virgin Voyages Creative Collective and RWS will be casting for the following original shows:

• A soon-to-be-announced production by award-winning producer Randy Weiner (Queen of the Night, The Donkey Show, Sleep No More)

• UNTITLED DANCESHOWPARTYTHING, Sam Pinkleton and Ani Taj's hype music video disguised as an absurdist style dance party

• Phantom Folktales, a collection of song-driven micro plays created by PigPen Theatre Co. that seemingly appear out of thin air throughout the ship, and disappear just as quickly

• Ships in the Night, an emotion-filled contemporary experience telling its story with cutting-edge digital projection, interwoven with the authenticity of the human condition, made possible through collaboration with innovative circus company, The 7 Fingers

• Duel Reality, which examines the age-old tale of Romeo & Juliet with a modern twist featuring acrobatic storytelling, also from The 7 Fingers

• Never Sleep Alone, a participatory show featuring the hysterically funny, straight-talking relationship therapist, Dr. Alex Shiller, by producers Roslyn Hart and Alfredo Guenzani

In line with the company's game-changing approach to life at sea, Virgin Voyages seeks to break down the 4th wall and invite talent to incorporate their own unique personalities and passions to the ship and its programming. This approach extends to how Virgin Voyages treats their artists.

"RWS prides itself on being a company of bold makers and mold breakers, which aligns with the game-changing style of Virgin Voyages," said Ryan Stana, CEO and Founder of RWS Entertainment Group. "We are inspired by the brand's avant-garde approach to entertainment and the RWS vision, passion and our full service, turn key capabilities make aligning with another forward-thinking company a natural fit."

RWS Entertainment Group will serve as the premiere production services partner for the Virgin Voyages Creative Collective, providing a full scope of production services including the global casting tour, rehearsals at their newly renovated and expanded state-of-the-art studios, housing at RWS' apartment complex and onboarding for all artists hired for Virgin Voyages.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 57.35 + 3.46%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 118.30 + 1.21%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 1.22 + 20.79%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 56.16 + 1.26%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
This week's question comes from our...Before they were Stars...file. Before she became famous as one of the original "Love Boats" the Pacific Princess sailed from New York to Bermuda under this name.

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
What do the "Single turn", "Williamson turn" and "Scharnow turn" all have in common (...besides being types of turns,of course)?

Answer - All three are turns a ship used to conduct possible man overboard rescues.
courtesy of RonR3 at comcast.net


Cruise News - March 11, 2019

Seabourn Names First New Ultra-Luxury Expedition Ship "Seabourn Venture"
Seabourn announced today that it will name its first new ultra-luxury purpose-built expedition ship Seabourn Venture, paying tribute to the remote destinations visited by the brand's highly successful expedition and Ventures by Seabourn excursion programs and the fascinating places yet to be explored in the future.

Seabourn began offering expedition experiences during its first sailing to Antarctica in 2013 led by a highly qualified, world-class expedition team and those itineraries have been offered every season since. The success of the Antarctica program opened the door for similar optional experiences under the name Ventures by Seabourn featuring Zodiacs, kayaks, and guided hikes offered on Seabourn ships in a number of desirable destinations around the world, including Alaska, Australia & New Zealand, South America, and Northern European destinations such as Norway and Greenland.

Seabourn began offering expedition experiences during its first sailing to Antarctica in 2013 led by a highly qualified, world-class expedition team and those itineraries have been offered every season since. The success of the Antarctica program opened the door for similar optional experiences under the name Ventures by Seabourn featuring Zodiacs, kayaks, and guided hikes offered on Seabourn ships in a number of desirable destinations around the world, including Alaska, Australia & New Zealand, South America, and Northern European destinations such as Norway and Greenland.

"The name Seabourn Venture is an exciting step in the process of launching even more immersive voyages designed specifically for the expedition traveler who dares to go beyond the norm in terms of destinations and experiences they seek," said Richard Meadows, president of Seabourn. "Combined with the team of 26 experts that will bring the expedition experience to life, we are going to draw on our pedigree to deliver breathtaking experiences and I know Seabourn Venture is going to create lifetime memories for the adventurer that wants to go farther, into more remote destinations than they may have ever seen before, in true Seabourn ultra-luxury."

Seabourn Venture is scheduled to launch in June 2021, with a second yet-to-be-named sister ship slated to launch in May 2022. Both ships will be designed and built for diverse environments to PC6 Polar Class standards and will include a plethora of modern hardware and technology that will extend the ships global deployment and capabilities. The new ships, which are being built by T. Mariotti, will be a brand new innovative design, created specifically for the ultra-luxury expedition traveler, and will include many features that have made Seabourn ships so successful. A new and exciting offering will be two custom-built submarines carried onboard, providing an unforgettable view of the world beneath the ocean's surface. The ships will also be designed to carry a complement of kayaks and 24 Zodiacs that can accommodate all onboard guests at once, which will allow for a truly immersive experience. Each ship will feature 132 luxurious oceanfront veranda suites. More details and full-color renderings of the ship and its interior spaces will be released in the months ahead.

Specific details about itineraries and booking availability will be released in Spring 2019. The first ship is currently planned to sail in the Arctic in late summer 2021, with a full summer season in Antarctica to follow.

Both expedition vessels will feature an onboard crew that will include outstanding and well-traveled expedition teams comprised of highly regarded wilderness experts, scientists, historians and naturalists. During each sailing, team members regularly interact with guests, providing keen insight to deliver a rich holistic travel experience. These fascinating, accomplished experts are also part of the Seabourn Conversations program, providing in-depth insights into the history, ecology and culture of the places they visit. Their valuable insights are offered both in formal presentations on a variety of topics and in more casual conversations over meals or at leisure.

Seabourn continues to represent the pinnacle of ultra-luxury travel with intimate ships offering key elements that set the line apart: spacious, thoughtfully appointed suites, many with verandas and all 100% ocean front; superb dining in a choice of venues; complimentary premium spirits and fine wines available on board at all times; award-winning service and a relaxed, sociable atmosphere that makes guests feel right at home on board. The ships travel the globe to many of the world's most desirable destinations, including marquee cities, more than 170 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and lesser-known ports and hideaways.

Bam! Emeril Lagasse Spices Up Carnival Cruise Line's Mardi Gras with First-ever Restaurant at Sea
Carnival Cruise Line today announced that it has partnered with world-renowned chef and restaurateur Emeril Lagasse on his first-ever seagoing restaurant aboard Carnival's newest and most innovative ship, Mardi Gras, setting sail in summer 2020.

Located in the heart of Mardi Gras' French Quarter zone, Emeril's Bistro 1396 will showcase the chef's signature dishes that earned him the reputation as one of New Orleans' most acclaimed and respected chefs.

"Mardi Gras is designed as the ultimate vacation experience, and that extends to the food and beverage offerings," said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. "Emeril Lagasse has brought the uniqueness and fun of New Orleans dining to foodies all over the world, and we're thrilled that he'll now bring that same experience to Carnival. There is no one better suited than Emeril to add a level of authenticity to the Mardi Gras experience that will give our guests another way to Choose Fun."

"I've developed restaurants all over the country, but to create my first restaurant at sea – on a ship named Mardi Gras with its own French Quarter, no less – was an opportunity I simply could not pass up," said Lagasse. "I'm excited to be a part of this brand new ship and bring a taste of the flavors of New Orleans cuisine to the guests sailing on Mardi Gras."

Named after Mardi Gras' hull number at the Meyer Turku shipyard in Finland, the bistro will celebrate New Orleans' rich culture with Creole favorites and daily specials.

The menu will include: oyster and cochon de lait po-boys, muffaletta sandwiches, Emeril's signature barbecue shrimp, fresh seafood ceviche, roasted duck & Andouille sausage gumbo, jambalaya, and complements such as Creole potato salad with diced scallions, and red beans and "jazz-man" rice. Breakfast offerings will feature shrimp and grits and a shrimp Creole omelet. The New Orleans classic Bananas Foster and lemon ice box pie will be available for dessert.

Emeril's Bistro 1396 will take center stage in Mardi Gras' French Quarter, one of the ship's six themed zones where guests will find fun, memorable ways to create their own personalized vacations. The French Quarter will capture the festive spirit of Louisiana with food, cocktails and, of course, live jazz.

Currently under construction at the Meyer Turku shipyard in Turku, Finland, Mardi Gras is slated to enter service in Europe Aug. 31, 2020, before repositioning to New York for a series of voyages then shift to Port Canaveral for year-round seven-day Caribbean cruises beginning in Oct. 2020.

Princess Cruises Introduces La Mer Restaurant Onboard Sky Princess
Marking the first time in the cruise line's history, Princess Cruises will introduce a new French restaurant to North American guests. The debut of La Mer by Three-Michelin Star Chef, Emmanuel Renaut, onboard its next new cruise ship Sky Princess, will arrive in Ft. Lauderdale in December 2019 for an inaugural season of Caribbean cruises.

Chef Renaut is owner and executive chef of the Flocons de Sel restaurant, located in the French Alps village of Megève. Flocons de Sel was awarded a third Michelin star in 2012, having earned its first in 2004 and a second in 2006. Before establishing the restaurant in 1998, Renaut worked in restaurants including Claridge's, Hotel de Crillon and Auberge de l'Eridan. He also holds the prestigious title "Meilleur Ouvrier de France" (MOF) which translates to One of the Best Craftsmen of France.

La Mer will offer casual, French bistro-style dining with a modern twist inspired by the flavors and feeling of the French Alps and contrasts from the ocean. The specialty restaurant will be located in the lively Sky Princess atrium. The restaurant first debuted onboard Majestic Princess in 2017 to rave reviews from international cruisers while the ship was based in China. A La Mer video with restaurant and menu-fare visuals can be viewed here: www.princess.com/lamer

"It's been an honor to collaborate with Chef Renaut again to develop a fresh and new menu for La Mer on Sky Princess and showcase his authentically crafted French dishes for the first time to our North American guests," said Rai Caluori, executive vice president of guest experience and product development at Princess Cruises. "Chef Renaut's culinary artistry and passion to deliver an unforgettable French dining experience at La Mer will be savored by each Sky Princess guest who delights in his exquisite fresh dishes."

A sampling of Sky Princess La Mer menu offerings include:

Filet de Boeuf Poelé, Compotée d' Ognons Doux, Jus au Vin Rouge, Frites
Beef filet mignon, sweet onions sauté, red wine jus, hand cut fries
Boasting Chef Renaut's flair on classic French dishes, a tender filet mignon cooked to perfection and served alongside hand-cut frites is a classic pairing that never ceases to satisfy every craving.

Quenelles de Vivaneau et St. Jacques, Salpicon de Homard et Jus des Carcasses
Red snapper & scallop mousseline, lobster morsels and lemon grass lobster sauce
Chef Renaut was inspired to bring this dish back to its origins by adding lobster morsels, as it was usually always served with crawfish tails. Chef Renaut placed his own twist and replaced the crawfish with tender lobster.

Mont Blanc ''Marron-Myrtilles"
Sweet chestnut, blueberry gel, vanilla cream bavarois
Mont Blanc is a chestnut, classic French dessert and was inspired by the French Alps, the highest peak in Europe, a majestic view Chef Renaut enjoys every day from the outside deck of Flocons de Sel in Megève, France.

"I'm delighted to introduce La Mer to more Princess Cruises guests aboard Sky Princess," said Chef Renaut. "The new La Mer dishes I've designed for Sky Princess are inspired to satisfy every palate by bringing retro French classics and blending favorite ingredients with fresh and unique touches to make each dish memorable."

La Mer will carry a cover charge of $35 per person. This specialty restaurant will also debut onboard the cruise line's next new ship, Enchanted Princess, in summer 2020.

The 143,700-ton, 3,660-guest Sky Princess is the fourth Royal-class ship for Princess Cruises and will include the best of the stunning features found on Royal Princess, Regal Princess and Majestic Princess, as well as new offerings that represent an evolution of the current ships' designs.

Carnival Freedom Undergoes Multi-Million-Dollar Dry Dock
Carnival Freedom has undergone a multi-million-dollar renovation added a variety of exciting experiences, including an expansive new WaterWorks aqua park, enhanced dining options such as a re-branded Deli and Bonsai Sushi Express, expanded retail spaces, a new miniature golf course and more.

Part of the line’s industry-leading $2 billion ship enhancement program that has added popular Fun Ship 2.0 innovations across the fleet, the updated spaces were added during a three-week dry dock that took place in Freeport, The Bahamas. The new and enhanced experiences include:

• WaterWorks: Featuring a 203-foot-long AquaTunnel slide and Carnival’s signature 212-foot-long Twister slide along with a 75-gallon PowerDrencher tipping bucket and SplashZone area for kids.

• Bonsai Express: the success of the full-service Bonsai Sushi restaurants has spawned this casual spot, featuring a mouth-watering array of sushi, sashimi, rolls and more.

• Expanded Retail Spaces: a mall-style shopping area lined with retail outlets offering fine jewelry, watches, fragrances, and more along with the line’s own branded spaces including the all-new Carnival Adventures shop. The new shop offers everything guests need to maximize their fun on board and ashore, from snorkel gear and swim fins to sunscreen and waterproof backpacks.

• Mini-Golf Course: A nine-hole miniature golf course has been relocated to Deck 11, providing a fun and relaxing pastime for families to enjoy in the fresh sea air.

• Re-Branded Deli: Located on Deck 9, the newly expanded Deli offers a tantalizing menu of piled-high sandwiches, paninis and traditional sides.

These complement the wide array of popular experiences on board Carnival Freedom, including Guy’s Burger Joint created by Food Network star Guy Fieri, the poolside BlueIguana Tequila Bar, RedFrog Rum Bar, and BlueIguana Cantina, along with favorites like a classic American steakhouse, Punchliner Comedy Club, the cocktail pharmacy-themed Alchemy Bar, and the Caribbean-inspired RedFrog Pub.

Family-friendly options include Seuss at Sea operated exclusively with Dr. Seuss Enterprises that includes the Green Eggs and Ham Breakfast with The Cat in The Hat and Friends and an all-ages reading venue called Dr. Seuss Bookville, along with fun supervised programming for kids ages 2-17.

Following the dry dock, Carnival Freedom resumed its year-round schedule of six- and seven-day Caribbean cruises from Galveston that visit top destinations in Jamaica, Mexico, Belize and Grand Cayman.

Royal Caribbean International Announces Winter Caribbean Itineraries
- Royal Caribbean International is creating more ways to ditch the cold for tropical escapes in the 2020-21 winter season. The global cruise line is introducing a combination of diverse offerings throughout North America and the Caribbean, from new ship pairings in major homeports across Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico to a more diverse range of itinerary lengths and popular destinations.

Big news for the Lone Star state— Adventure of the Seas will call Texas home for the first time in 2020, becoming the largest ship sailing short getaways from Galveston. Touting "only-on-Royal" favorites, including Splashaway Bay and the Perfect Storm waterslides, guests sailing on Adventure can make the most of their 4- and 5-night vacations while visiting Costa Maya and Cozumel, Mexico. Adventure of the Seas will join Liberty of the Seas, which will be sailing 7-night Caribbean cruises year-round from Galveston (announced in Dec. 2018).

Enchantment of the Seas will sail south for the winter to homeport in San Juan, Puerto Rico for the first time, following her summer season in Galveston. Sailing 7-night itineraries from the clear waters of San Juan, Enchantment will open the doors to the awe-inspiring islands of the Southern Caribbean, from the pink sandy beaches of Barbados to the lush tropical mountains of Dominica. Known for its passionate and welcoming spirit, San Juan will continue to be the year-round homeport for Freedom of the Seas, which will be newly reimagined in March 2020 as part of the Royal Amplified fleet modernization program.

Following her multimillion-dollar transformation and summer season in Europe, the amplified Explorer of the Seas will return to Miami with elevated nightlife, exhilarating activities and updated entertainment for all. Explorer will bring the far-flung islands of Bonaire, Curacao and Aruba, as well as Royal Caribbean's private destination in Labadee, Haiti, within reach on 5- and 9-night cruises from Miami. Select 5-night sailings will visit Royal Caribbean's highly anticipated private island, Perfect Day at CocoCay in the Bahamas, the unparalleled family vacation destination for thrill and chill. The first in the cruise line's Perfect Day Island Collection of destinations around the world, Perfect Day at CocoCay ups the ante on private destination experiences by delivering unmatched adventures and amenities, including Thrill Waterpark with 13 jaw-dropping slides, like Daredevil's Peak – the tallest waterslide in North America; Oasis Lagoon, the Caribbean's largest freshwater pool; the Caribbean's largest wave pool; Up, Up and Away, the helium balloon that floats up to 450 feet in the air; and Chill Island for some beach R&R.

Independence of the Seas will return to Fort Lauderdale in November 2020, sailing 4- and 5-night short getaways to the Western Caribbean and Nassau, The Bahamas. The amped-up ship will also offer select sailings to Perfect Day at CocoCay. Whether relaxing on the picturesque Bahamian beach at Royal Caribbean's highly anticipated private destination or climbing the Mayan ruins in Cozumel, guests on Independence will relish in adventure-packed, memory-making vacations. Modernized from bow to stern in 2018, Independence will be one of six Royal Amplified ships homeporting on Florida's east coast in 2020.

Vision of the Seas will be offering 10- and 11-night cruises from Fort Lauderdale to the Southern Caribbean. The glass-encased ship will call on dream destinations across the Caribbean, reaching picturesque islands like St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Thomas, San Juan, Antigua and St. Maarten on the 10-night itineraries, while the 11-night sailings will include an overnight stay in Oranjestad, Aruba, a destination hot spot known for world-famous underwater diving locations and wind-sculpted desert landscapes.

Rhapsody of the Seas returns to her longtime homeport of Tampa in 2020 to embark on new adventures. Globetrotters can experience the Panama Canal's intricate waterway system and arrive to the treasured UNESCO World Heritage city of Colon and the ruins of the San Lorenzo castle, all in one 11-night expedition. Rhapsody's regular 7-night itineraries will call on coveted Caribbean destinations, including Grand Cayman, Belize and Mexico. Also returning to her homeport in Tampa, Brilliance of the Seas will join Rhapsody for the season, continuing a mix of 4- and 5-night sailings to the Western Caribbean, perfect for short getaways and first-time cruise vacationers.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 55.43 - 2.00%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 116.88 - 0.68%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 1.01 - 0.00%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 55.46 + 1.58%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
What do the "Single turn", "Williamson turn" and "Scharnow turn" all have in common (...besides being types of turns,of course)?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Which commercial steamship company handled the passenger and cargo operations for the N/S SAVANNAH, America's only nuclear powered merchant vessel?

Answer - The initial commercial operator, in 1962, of NS Savannah was States Marine Line. In 1963 operation was transferred to American Export Lines, subsequently American Export-Isbrandtsen Lines.
courtesy of Peter Pinner UK


Cruise News - March 4, 2019

MSC Bellissima Officially Named In Southampton
On Saturday, March 2, MSC Cruises officially welcomed the latest addition to the Company's modern fleet - MSC Bellissima. The Company's new flagship was named in a glamourous and traditional maritime Naming Ceremony in the port of Southampton. A host of stars, VIPs, key travel partners and international media attended the event as well as top management from MSC Cruises and its parent company MSC Group. Gianluigi Aponte, MSC Group's founder and executive chairman as well as the ship owner, attended together with the Aponte and Aponte-Vago families. MSC Cruises' Godmother Sophia Loren officially named her 14th ship, which is fitting since the glamourous Hollywood legend is renowned for her style and elegance.

MSC Cruises also announced a new partnership with one of the finest chefs in the world, Raymond Blanc, OBE. The two-Michelin-starred chef has had a profound influence on Britain's culinary landscape and to kick-off the relationship, VIP guests at the Naming Ceremony were able to enjoy an exquisite menu that chef Blanc has designed for the Yacht Club Gala Dinner. This marked the start of a new collaboration with MSC Cruises and the celebrated chef who will be creating a dish for the Elegant Dinner menu.

Raymond Blanc commented, "I am truly looking forward to collaborating with MSC Cruises on some exciting projects, including the development of one of my signature dishes for the Elegant Dinner menu. I believe we have a shared passion for the guest experience, and together we will create some truly memorable moments for diners on board."

Hosting the evening's celebrations was English TV presenter and star of ITV, Holly Willoughby. Additionally, world-famous tenor Andrea Bocelli and Matteo Bocelli sang a duet to begin the event. The Bocelli family have a long-standing relationship with MSC Cruises dating back over 10 years when Andrea first performed for the Naming Ceremony of MSC Poesia in Dover, UK. Guests also experienced a very special performance from Cirque du Soleil at Sea. This performance marked the first time that the world-leader in live entertainment, Cirque du Soleil, has performed at the launch of a ship.

MSC Bellissima is the second Meraviglia class ship to come into service, designed as the ship for all seasons and rich in guest features, including the very latest guest-centric technology with the introduction of the world's first virtual personal cruise assistant, ZOE. Another key highlight is the two new Cirque du Soleil at Sea shows, exclusive to MSC Cruises' guests. SYMA – Sail beyond Imagination takes you on the epic journey of a young sailor, brimming with imagination. VARÉLIA – Love in Full Colour puts a futuristic twist on a traditional medieval tale.

Other key highlights include:

• With 12 dining venues and more than 20 bars and lounges, guests are spoiled for choice including a new French specialty restaurant L'Atelier Bistrot. The ship also features acclaimed pastry chef Jean-Philippe Maury's Chocolate & Café, dedicated entirely to unique and elegant chocolate creations and desserts — a delight for anyone with a sweet tooth

• An award-winning family offering with kids' activities and services from partners LEGO and Chicco with a dedicated family deck area

• The MSC Yacht Club with luxurious accommodations spanning three decks, private facilities and butler service round-the-clock

• The longest LED Sky Screen at Sea at 262 ft. long encompassing a stunning 315 ft. long Mediterranean-style promenade, designed to be the social hub of the ship

• Comfortable and innovative accommodations to meet every need demonstrating the way that MSC Cruises puts the guest at the heart of its designs and ship building and with 10 different types of staterooms to choose from, there really is something for everyone.

MSC Bellissima is fitted with a large number of environmental features and innovative technology to reduce her environmental footprint. Just like her sister ship MSC Meraviglia, she is equipped with, amongst others: an exhaust gas cleaning system for cleaner emissions; an advanced wastewater treatment system; smart heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems (HVAC) to recover heat from machinery spaces; and LED lighting and smart devices to significantly save energy. This is all part of MSC Cruises commitment to provide guests with the best vacation experiences at sea in a sustainable way.

MSC Bellissima will spend her inaugural season in the Mediterranean offering 7-night cruises to some of the region's most popular ports before moving to the Emirates for Winter 2019/2020. Following that she will be deployed in Asia in 2020.

Navigator Of The Seas Sails Into Miami With $115 Million New Look
Royal Caribbean International's newly amplified Navigator of the Seas heats things up in Miami as she arrived into her new year-round home with $115 million of next-level features. The transformed 3,386-guest ship debuts bold, new adventures and Royal Caribbean favorites for all ages, like The Blaster, the longest aqua coaster at sea; Riptide, the industry's only head-first mat racer waterslide; a reimagined poolscape infused with Caribbean vibes; To Dry For, the first standalone blow-dry bar at sea; and elevated dining and nightlife. Beginning Friday, March 1, Navigator will sail 5- and 9-night Caribbean itineraries through May 2019. The action-packed ship will then set course for The Bahamas with 3-night weekend and 4-night weekday cruises, including visits to the cruise line's highly anticipated private island, Perfect Day at CocoCay, the unparalleled thrill and chill destination.

Navigating New Features:

• The Blaster – the cruise line's first aqua coaster and the longest waterslide at sea propels thrill seekers through more than 800 feet of dips, drops and straightaways that extend over the side of the ship

• Riptide – the industry's only headfirst mat racer waterslide, complete with an exhilarating finish through a translucent tube for endless ocean views

• To Dry For – the first standalone blow-dry bar at sea, offering blowouts, hairstyling and other services, plus a selection of wines and champagnes

• Reimagined Poolscape – this Caribbean resort-style deck touts more pool for everyone – even a Splash Pad for tots – and tasty dining options Johnny Rockets Express and Mexican "street fare" at El Loco Fresh

• The Lime and Coconut – a three-level signature bar that offers a variety of libations, a "rooftop" deck for a bird's eye view and live music

"We have really dialed up the adventure and Caribbean vibes in ways that will make Navigator of the Seas the ultimate getaway to take from Miami," said Michael Bayley, President and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. "Independence and Mariner of the Seas, the first two modernized ships in our Royal Amplified program, have quickly become standout hits, and Navigator builds on this momentum with a combination of new, exciting features and signature Royal Caribbean offerings that will surprise and delight guests cruising with us for the first time and those who have vacationed with us before."

Delivering a Lineup of Royal Caribbean Favorites:

• Hooked Seafood – the casual eatery serving up New England-inspired dishes

• The Bamboo Room – a Polynesian-themed watering hole with kitschy-cool cocktails

• Playmakers Sports Bar & Arcade – where families can enjoy gameday classics, 50 big-screen TVs, tabletop games, classic arcade hits and a new Owner's Box VIP room

• Jamie's Italian – home to celebrity chef Jamie Oliver's rustic Italian recipes

• Battle for Planet Z – an epic glow-in-the-dark laser tag battle for the last planet in the galaxy

• Royal Escape Room: The Observatorium – a challenge for teams of families, friends or fellow travelers to solve mind-bending puzzles before time runs out

• FlowRider surf simulator, the rock-climbing wall, and a redesigned Adventure Ocean for the youngest of the family as well as new dedicated teen spaces

Navigator of the Seas is the third ship to be reimagined as part of the Royal Amplified modernization program, an investment of more than $1 billion in the cruise line's award-winning fleet. The effort spans 10 ships in four years and touches every facet of the guest experience with the introduction of a wide range of new thrills and Royal Caribbean staples meant to appeal to every generation.

Beginning May 2019, each sailing on board Navigator of the Seas will visit Perfect Day at CocoCay, the first in the cruise line's Perfect Day Island Collection of destinations around the world. Royal Caribbean's private island will be transformed with $250 million to deliver unmatched adventures and amenities, including Thrill Waterpark with 13 jaw-dropping slides, like Daredevil's Peak – the tallest waterslide in North America; Oasis Lagoon, the Caribbean's largest freshwater pool; the Caribbean's largest wave pool; Up, Up and Away, the helium balloon that floats up to 450 feet in the air; and Chill Island for some beach R&R.

Costa Venezia Comes Into Service
Yesterday, at the Fincantieri shipyard in Monfalcone, in the presence of the Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister of Italy, Matteo Salvini, and of the Deputy Minister of Infrastructure and Transport of Italy, Edoardo Rixi, Costa Cruises officially took delivery of Costa Venezia, its first ship designed specifically to offer the best of Italy to the Chinese market.

Costa Venezia is part of an expansion plan that includes a total of seven ships being delivered to the Costa Group by 2023.

With a gross tonnage of 135,500 tons, 323 meters in length and a capacity for over 5,200 guests, Costa Venezia will be the largest ship introduced by Costa Cruises to the Chinese market, where the Italian company was the first to start operating in 2006 and is currently the leader. It will offer a series of unprecedented innovations designed specifically for Chinese customers, introducing guests to Italian culture, lifestyle and excellence, starting from the interiors, which are inspired by the city of Venice.

As Michael Thamm, group CEO Costa Group and Carnival Asia, explains: "Costa Venezia will help us to further develop the cruise market in China, which has a great unexplored potential. Suffice it to say that, currently, 2.5 million Chinese people a year choose to go on a cruise vacation, which is less than 2 percent of the total number of Chinese people who travel abroad. Moreover, Costa Venezia further strengthens Costa Cruises' bond with Italy: it is a ship built in Italy, by an Italian shipyard, which flies the Italian flag and which will make Chinese guests experience unforgettable Italian experiences."

Giuseppe Bono, CEO of Fincantieri, said: "For us, Costa Venezia is the emblem of what we are able to do and where we intend to arrive, but she is also the product of the historical partnership with Carnival Corporation and Costa Cruises, which enhances the tradition of Italian manufacturing and know-how, projecting them toward other borders." Bono continued: "As a consolidated industry leader, our contribution to the cruise industry, considering the units we delivered and those we have on order, will count on 143 ships in the coming years, with one cruise passenger in three sailing on our jewels. As soon as Costa Venezia will enter into service in China, showing what we are able to realize in a still unexplored market, I am sure that a new chapter will be opened in the successful history of Fincantieri."

Arnold Donald, CEO of Carnival Corporation, stated: "The delivery of Costa Venezia is a further step in the growth of a strong and sustainable cruise industry in China, which someday we believe will be the largest cruise market in the world. The growth of the Chinese cruise industry will continue to open the world to millions of Chinese travelers and bring ever-increasing prosperity to its people."

"As the first ship built specifically for the Chinese market, Costa Venezia marks the start of a new era, not only for Costa Cruises and Fincantieri but also for the Chinese cruise industry as a whole," says Mario Zanetti, president of Costa Group Asia. "From conception to delivery, everything about Costa Venezia has been designed having the Chinese customer in mind. Costa Venezia will continue to offer the authentic Italian experience that is a hallmark of Costa Cruises, but with further innovations that have never been seen before and which are designed to meet the needs of the local market even better."

On board Costa Venezia, Chinese guests will experience the uniqueness of Venetian and Italian culture. The ship's theater is inspired by the Venetian La Fenice theater; the main atrium is reminiscent of St. Mark's Square, while the main restaurants recall the traditional architecture of Venetian alleys and squares. Actual gondolas, made by the Squero di San Trovaso artisans, can also be found on board. Guests can also savor the delicacies of Italian cuisine, shop in the onboard shops with many famous "Made in Italy" brands and enjoy the internationally renowned Italian entertainment, with a masked ball that will recreate the magical atmosphere of the famous Carnival of Venice. They will also feel at home with a wide choice of Chinese food offered, Chinese-style karaoke, many parties including the "Golden Party," full of surprises and gifts to be won every 10 minutes.

Costa Venezia's naming ceremony is planned for today, March 1, in Trieste, with a spectacular air show by Frecce Tricolori acrobatic team and a firework display involving the whole city. The vernissage cruise will depart from Trieste March 3, bound for Greece and Croatia. On March 8, the ship will be back in Trieste for the start of its inaugural cruise: an exceptional, 53-day trip following the tracks of Marco Polo through the Mediterranean to the Middle East, South East Asia and the Far East before docking in Tokyo. The vernissage and inaugural cruises will be the only departures available to European and American guests wishing to enjoy a vacation on the new ship. From May 18, 2019, Costa Venezia will be dedicated exclusively to Chinese guests, offering cruises in Asia departing from Shanghai.

After Costa Venezia, the group's next ship to come into service, in October 2019, will be Costa Smeralda, the new Costa Cruises flagship and the first ship for the world market to be powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG). A second ship designed exclusively for the Chinese market, a sister ship to Costa Venezia, is currently under construction by Fincantieri in Marghera and is expected to be delivered in 2020.

Carnival Glory Launches Year-Round Service from New Orleans
Carnival Glory has repositioned to New Orleans to offer a series of four- and five-day cruises to Mexico. The ship will replace Carnival Triumph which is en route to Cadiz, Spain, to undergo a $200 million renovation and emerge as the renamed Carnival Sunrise.

Beginning in May, Carnival Glory will assume the year-round seven-day schedule from New Orleans currently operated by Carnival Dream. Carnival Dream will reposition to Galveston becoming the newest and largest ship to offer short cruises from the port.

Carnival Glory’s week-long cruises from New Orleans will visit top destinations throughout the Caribbean, Bahamas and Florida. The western Caribbean route will feature popular islands such as Cozumel, Mahogany Bay (Roatan), Montego Bay, Belize and Grand Cayman while Bahamas/Florida voyages include Nassau, Freeport, the private Bahamian island of Half Moon Cay and Key West.

Carnival Glory will also offer a special, one-time eight-day Caribbean sailing in May as well as two 14-day Carnival Journeys Panama Canal cruises in February and November 2020.

Carnival Glory is a terrific new addition to the Louisiana market with such onboard experiences as a new WaterWorks aqua park, dining options like a classic American steakhouse and Guy’s Burger Joint developed in tandem with Food Network star and longtime Carnival partner Guy Fieri, the cocktail pharmacy-themed Alchemy Bar, Punchliner Comedy Club and fun, supervised programming for kids in three age groups.

The deployment of Carnival Glory to New Orleans builds upon Carnival’s leadership position at the port with two year-round ships carrying more than 400,000 passengers annually – the most of any cruise operator.

Cunard Unveils 2021 Voyage Program
Cunard today unveiled their Oceans of Discovery voyage program for November 2020 through May 2021, featuring Full World Voyages and in-depth itineraries in Japan and Australia. The Cunard fleet, including Queen Elizabeth, Queen Victoria, and flagship liner Queen Mary 2, will call at 94 destinations in 38 different countries, including four exciting maiden calls in Japan, Taiwan and New Zealand.

Cunard pioneered the concept of world cruising in 1922 and has since undertaken more world voyages than any other passenger line. In 2021, Cunard will continue the tradition of world cruising by operating Full World Voyages on two ships: Queen Mary 2 will offer the classic East-West voyage to Australia and Asia, Southern Africa, the Indian Ocean, Arabian Gulf and the Mediterranean; Queen Victoria will travel the globe with a westbound circumnavigation via the Panama Canal. Queen Elizabeth will carry out exotic voyages with regionally-focused itineraries in Australia and Japan.

Whether traveling on a two-night short break or a full 113-night world voyage, the Cunard 2021 program will offer a mix of the most celebrated cities along with smaller, off-the-beaten-path but equally charming destinations. Itineraries have been thoughtfully created to offer longer, more enriching days in port as well as plenty of time at sea to enjoy everything Cunard ships have to offer.

"Now is a perfect time to book your winter 2020-2021 journeys on Cunard," said Josh Leibowitz, SVP Cunard North America. "We offer our legendary westbound circumnavigation World Cruise on Queen Victoria, the classic East-West voyage on Queen Mary 2, and exotic sailings on Queen Elizabeth. By far, these voyages represent incredible opportunities to see the world in style, only on Cunard."

Cunard World Club members will be able to book exclusively beginning on March 12, 2019, and booking will open for the public on March 13, 2019.

Queen Mary 2
Queen Mary 2 will undertake her classic East-West World Voyage in 2021 to Australia and Asia, which includes the Mediterranean, Arabian Gulf, Indian Ocean and Southern Africa. The World Cruise can be taken as a roundtrip from either New York (113 nights) or London (99 nights). Shorter voyage options range in length from two to 64 nights and can be combined in many ways allowing guests to create the ideal travel experience to the cities of their choice.

The beginning of the voyage is routed via South Africa and the Indian Ocean to Australia. From there, Queen Mary 2 will head north to Hong Kong and on to Singapore via Vietnam. She will then travel through the Malacca Straights across the Indian Ocean to the Arabian Gulf. The final leg of the voyage is the return to London from Dubai, which is routed via the Suez Canal and Mediterranean Sea. The voyage includes many overnight stays allowing guests to be immersed in the various cultures of these destinations.

Queen Mary 2's 2021 deployment features:

• The World Voyage, by Cunard

• Grand Voyages, by Cunard and Regions, by Cunard

• 45 voyage combinations ranging from three to 113 nights

• Over 47,000 nautical miles

• 37 ports in 22 countries

• Overnight stays in Sydney, Hong Kong, Singapore, Dubai, and a double overnight in Cape Town

• Transit of the Suez Canal

• 34 UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Queen Victoria
Queen Victoria's World Voyage will be a Westbound circumnavigation through the Panama Canal which can be taken as a roundtrip from either Hamburg (112 nights) or London (108 nights), or a one-way voyage starting in Fort Lauderdale and ending in London (97 nights). Her voyage will begin by crossing the Atlantic Ocean to Florida via Bermuda, followed by a trans-Panama segment. Queen Victoria will then cross the Pacific Ocean via Hawaii and Samoa to New Zealand and from there she will call in Sydney, Australia's Gold Coast and Great Barrier Reef before traveling to Hong Kong via Darwin and Vietnam. Following her Asia visit, she will return to London via Singapore, the Indian Ocean and South Africa.

Queen Victoria's 2021 deployment features:

• The World Voyage, by Cunard

• Grand Voyages, by Cunard and Regions, by Cunard

• 38 voyage combinations ranging from two to 112 nights

• Over 41,000 nautical miles

• 39 ports in 24 countries

• Overnight stays in San Francisco, Honolulu, Sydney, Hong Kong, Singapore and Cape Town

• Scenic cruising through the Panama Canal

• 25 UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Queen Elizabeth
In December 2020 and early 2021, Queen Elizabeth will offer a series of roundtrip voyages from international ports with deeper, richer and more regionally-focused itineraries. In between these deployments will be exotic grand voyages that capture the imagination and spirit of adventure in travel lovers across the world.

Queen Elizabeth will operate four roundtrip voyages from Melbourne and four from Sydney, covering the popular regions of South Australia, Tasmania and New Zealand. New in 2021 is a pair of "open-jaw" New Zealand voyages, traveling from Sydney to Auckland and the reverse.

At the end of the Australian season in March, Queen Elizabeth will travel north to Japan via Southeast Asia. The voyage will include a variety of exciting destinations such as Papua New Guinea, Singapore, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Taiwan and the Philippines.

Queen Elizabeth's Japan deployment, mid-April to mid-May 2021, will consist of four roundtrip voyages out of Tokyo.

• Two nine-night voyages will highlight the multi-faceted nature and deep cultural roots of Japan's main islands of Honshu and Kyushu and are timed to coincide with the spectacular spring blooms across the region.

• The third roundtrip voyage, a seven-night sailing, will coincide with Golden Week, a celebratory time which features several Japanese holidays.

• The fourth roundtrip voyage will be a new itinerary, traveling to the Okinawa archipelago and Taiwan, setting a contrast to the mountainous regions of Northern Japan. This voyage will feature a maiden call to the island of Miyakojima and is scheduled to arrive in the archipelago's tropical islands at the start of their peak season.

Queen Elizabeth's 2021 deployment features:

• Grand Voyages, by Cunard and Regions, by Cunard.

• 82 voyage combinations ranging from two to 39 nights

• Over 49,000 nautical miles

• 46 ports in 10 countries

• Maiden calls in Lyttleton and New Plymouth, New Zealand; Hualien, Taiwan; and Miyakojima, Japan

• Overnight stays in Auckland, Wellington, Hobart, Singapore and Hong Kong

• Scenic cruising in Fiordland National Park, New Zealand

• 24 UNESCO World Heritage Sites

In addition to Cunard's 2021 winter program, Cunard is happy to announce additional voyages on Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria. These include Queen Mary 2's signature seven-night Transatlantic Crossings departing December 8 and 15, 2020, January 3 and April 19, 2021; and a 12-night Caribbean roundtrip sailing out of New York departing December 22, 2020. In both January and April 2021, Queen Victoria will offer two- and four-night Short Break voyages from Southampton and Hamburg.

Disney Cruise Line Returns To Greece In Summer 2020
In summer 2020, Disney Cruise Line will embark on a variety of itineraries around the world, including a long-awaited return to Greece and the addition of five first-time ports of call in Europe. Along with an expanded European season aboard the Disney Magic, adventures will continue across the fleet with sailings to Alaska, the Caribbean and Bahamas.

After a five-year hiatus, the Disney Magic will return to Greece in summer 2020 as part of three special Mediterranean voyages departing from Rome. During one 12-night and two nine-night cruises, guests can marvel at the beautiful landscapes and archeological wonders of destinations like Piraeus, the gateway to Athens; Katakolon, near ancient Olympia; and the islands of Santorini, Mykonos and Crete.

Each of these unique Mediterranean itineraries combines a selection of stops in Greece with visits to other notable cities in the region. Two of the sailings include a new port of call in Messina, Italy, where guests can visit landmarks in Sicily such as Mount Etna, the highest and most active volcano in Europe, or the Piazza del Duomo, the city's historic center. The third features a return to the "Pearl of the Adriatic," Dubrovnik, Croatia, for the first time in five years.

Additional new ports of call in Europe include Gdynia, Poland; Nordfjordeid, Norway; Plymouth, England; and Zeebrugge, Belgium. This new collection of destinations is part of the Disney Magic's grand tour of Europe in the summer of 2020, which begins with sailings through the Mediterranean and Greek Isles before heading to northern Europe in late summer for cruises to the Baltic, British Isles and Norwegian fjords.

In 2020, the Disney Wonder will return to Alaska for the summer season, opening up a world of breathtaking natural vistas, magnificent glaciers and awe-inspiring wildlife. These seven-night itineraries depart from Vancouver, Canada, with visits to Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan, Icy Strait Point and Dawes Glacier. Each sailing features fun and adventure both in port and on the ship, from stunning scenery and one-of-a-kind Port Adventures in each destination to special touches that bring the splendor and spirit of Alaska to life onboard.

In addition to seven-night eastern and western Caribbean cruises from Port Canaveral, near Orlando, Florida, the Disney Fantasy will embark on a variety of itineraries to the Caribbean and Bahamas throughout the summer of 2020. These include five- and nine-night Caribbean sailings, along with three-, four- and five-night Bahamian cruises, three of which feature two stops at Disney's private island, Castaway Cay.

The Disney Dream will provide even more opportunities for guests to visit Castaway Cay in the summer of 2020 with three-, four- and five-night Bahamian cruises, including a series of sailings with two calls on the private island paradise.

Each sailing aboard the Disney Fantasy and Disney Dream allows guests to experience the magic of Disney entertainment, which includes themed dining spaces, Broadway-style shows and more, while also immersing them in the charming island cultures of tropical destinations throughout the Bahamas and Caribbean.

Princess Cruises Shares Dates For Six Ships Adding MedallionNet
Princess Cruises announced that MedallionNet, the best WiFi at sea, will soon be enjoyed by guests sailing on more than half of its fleet.

To meet surging demand from guests, Princess will continue its swift expansion of MedallionNet to add the service on additional ships by the end of 2019. MedallionNet, offering fast, affordable, reliable and unlimited internet service, expands to Coral Princess (April 5) and Island Princess (May 15) in time for the Alaska season, Crown Princess (June 30) and Emerald Princess (August 3) for sailings during Europe this summer and on Golden Princess (December 20) and Sky Princess (October 12) this fall. MedallionNet is currently available on Caribbean Princess, Regal Princess, Royal Princess and Ruby Princess.

"Guests and crew absolutely love MedallionNet. We're expanding it across the fleet as quickly as we can so that in the very near future anyone who sails with us will experience the best WiFi at sea," said Jan Swartz, president of Princess Cruises. "While many sail with us to disconnect from their digital life, we realize that offering land-like connectivity from anywhere on the ship is something guests value so that they have the option to stream movies, music, sports or video chat and share their amazing vacation experience as much or as little as they'd like."

The cruise line also announced the formal launch dates for the Princess MedallionClass experience on its next three ships. The hassle-free and personalized voyages enabled by the OceanMedallionTM will launch on Royal Princess on April 13, followed by Crown Princess on July 24 and will be featured on Sky Princess beginning October 12, when the newest ship in the Princess fleet departs the shipyard as the first to be built from the ground up with the Ocean Guest Experience Platform.

Considered a breakthrough in the vacation industry and recently honored with a CES 2019 Innovation Award, the OceanMedallion is complimentary for all guests and features leading-edge technology that delivers personalized service through enhanced guest-crew interactions, eliminates friction points and enables interactive entertainment.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 56.56 - 3.43%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 117.68 - 2.39%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 1.01 - 16.53%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 54.60 - 2.40%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Which commercial steamship company handled the passenger and cargo operations for the N/S SAVANNAH, America's only nuclear powered merchant vessel?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Which soon-to-be infamous figure departed Rotterdam for New York on June 4, 1962 on board Holland America's Maasdam?

Answer - The infamous figure who left Rotterdam for New York on June 4, 1962 on board the Maasdam was Lee Harvey Oswald?
courtesy of Jeff Anderson, Mclean, Virginia


Cruise News - February 25, 2019

MSC Cruises Takes Delivery Of MSC Bellissima
MSC Cruises, the world’s largest privately-owned cruise company, has taken delivery of MSC Bellissima from Chantiers de l’Atlantique, a world leader in cruise ship construction. With three Meraviglia generation ships under simultaneous construction at the shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, the two parties marked a double celebration today, with MSC Virtuosa’s Coin Ceremony.

MSC Bellissima’s Delivery Ceremony took place in the presence of Gianluigi Aponte, Founder and Executive Chairman, MSC Group. Also present were Pierfrancesco Vago, Executive Chairman, MSC Cruises, Gianni Onorato, CEO, MSC Cruises, Laurent Castaing, General Manager, Chantiers de l’Atlantique, as well as other regional and local authorities and dignitaries.

Vago said, “Today’s delivery marks another chapter in the story of our partnership with Chantiers de l’Atlantique. Together we have already brought to life 14 highly-innovative cruise ships, paving the way for our Company’s initial growth. Many more will be built together over the coming years to further deepen the reach of our fleet. Furthermore, MSC Bellissima’s elegance and beauty, as well as focus on the best and latest maritime and environmental technology at sea, bear testament to our restless pursuit for innovation.”

Castaing said, “This new outstanding ship is another evidence of the quality of the long-term partnership we have established between MSC Cruises and Chantiers de l’Atlantique during these last twenty years. We bring each time all our expertise and innovation capability to deserve the confidence of our customers: this is a real success story for our two companies.”

As other ships in MSC Cruises’ fleet, MSC Bellissima pushes the boundaries of ship building and design. Bearing testament to the Company’s commitment to protect the environment, she has been equipped with some of the latest environmental technologies available. These include, amongst others, a cutting-edge exhaust gas cleaning system, an advanced wastewater treatment plant, systems for the prevention of oil discharge from machinery spaces, a ballast water treatment system, and various energy-saving improvements – from heat recovery systems to LED lighting.

MSC Bellissima is also equipped with cutting-edge guest technology. She is the first MSC Cruises ship to feature ZOE, the world’s first virtual personal cruise assistant, which has been added to MSC for Me. The voice-enabled virtual personal assistant will be found in every cabin and can answer hundreds of questions about the cruise.

With today’s delivery, MSC Bellissima has become the fourth ship to join MSC Cruises’ fleet in less than two years. As part of MSC Cruises’ unprecedented new builds programme, another 13 next-generation cruise ships are due to join its fleet by 2027. These include four World Class mega cruise ships capable of welcoming nearly 7,000 guests as well as four smaller ships that will serve the ultra-luxury segment.

MSC Bellissima is the second Meraviglia Class ship to join MSC Cruises’ fleet. As MSC Meraviglia, she is the ship for all seasons, with plenty of outdoor and indoor public spaces. With a length of just 315 metres, she has been designed to be able to access most of the world’s cruise ports.

This evening MSC Bellissima will set sail towards Southampton, UK, where her Naming Ceremony is due to be held on March 2, 2019. On March 4, 2019 she will depart on her maiden voyage, which will take her to Genoa, Italy, where she will spend her inaugural season, offering Western Mediterranean cruises. In November 2019, she will reposition to the Gulf, providing weekly sailings out of Dubai. In spring 2020 she will be deployed to Asia.

Earlier, MSC Cruises and Chantiers de l’Atlantique held MSC Virtuosa’s Coin Ceremony, which takes place at the early stages of construction of a newbuild, when the keel is laid. Due to be delivered in November 2020, she will become the fourth Meraviglia Class ship in MSC Cruises’ fleet and the second of three Meraviglia-Plus ships, a larger and enriched version of the Meraviglia prototype with an increased number of cabins, more public space and additional features. Tradition dictates that two long-standing employees from the shipyard and the ship owner act as godmothers, placing two coins under the new ship’s keel block as a sign of blessing and good fortune. Today Elise Guérin, Project Manager, Chantiers de l’Atlantique and Helen Huang, President, Greater China, MSC Cruises had the honour of performing this traditional task.

Cunard Unveils Design Team for New Ship
Cunard has announced the team of designers recruited to create the interiors for its eagerly anticipated new ship set to launch in 2022. Working in concert with the project's Creative Director, Adam D. Tihany, will be award-winning designers Simon Rawlings of David Collins Studio, Terry McGillicuddy of Richmond International and Sybille de Margerie from her eponymous design company.

"Cunard has amassed the most talented interior designers in the industry to bring our new ship to life. Each member of the team brings a unique skill set to the project and working in symphony with legendary Adam D Tihany will ensure a product that is one-of-a-kind and uniquely Cunard," said Josh Leibowitz, SVP Cunard North America.

Adam D Tihany, creative director, added: "We have assembled a dynamic, passionate team of talented creatives whose unique design sensibilities and innate understanding of the Cunard brand will move the dial forward while recapturing the beloved spirit of Cunard travel in this next generation cruise liner."

While design details of the new ship are still under wraps, Cunard can confirm some of the key spaces that the expert design teams will be bringing to life:

• Luxury interior design team, David Collins Studio, whose projects have included Kerridge's Bar and Grill, Corinthia London, The Apartment at The Connaught and Bob Bob Ricard will be responsible for a show-stopping atrium, the Grand Lobby, the Queens Grill Suites and the main dining room. This will be Simon Rawlings and his team's very first interior afloat.

• Richmond International, which counts The Langham London and the award winning Four Seasons Budapest among its clients, will be responsible for the theater, new and exciting entertainment spaces and the outside deck space.

• Renowned French interior studio, Sybille de Margerie Paris, whose projects have included The Mandarin Oriental Paris and Cheval Blanc in Courchevel, will be responsible for the retail spaces, the spa and the flagship event space - the Queens Room. This will also be Sybille de Margerie's first ship interior.

The new ship will be the 249th vessel to sail under the Cunard flag and will bring the luxury line's fleet up to four, for the first time since the 1980s. The ship will be built at the Fincantieri shipyard in Italy. She joins Queen Victoria, Queen Elizabeth and flagship Queen Mary 2. news_cb_Galapagos.jpg

Celebrity Cruises Unveils 2021 Galapagos Deployment
Modern explorers looking to discover the natural beauty of the Galapagos Islands in unrivaled comfort will find an array of exciting new opportunities with the unveiling of Celebrity Cruises’ 2021 sailings. With the launch of the cutting-edge luxury mega yacht Celebrity Flora and the stunning modernization of Celebrity Xpedition, this is poised to be Celebrity’s best Galapagos season yet, connecting guests to these awe-inspiring islands and the evolutionary wonders found exclusively in this region, such as the blue-footed booby, Darwin’s finches, land and marine iguanas, and more, like never before.

“Celebrity Cruises has been sailing the Galapagos Islands since 2004. All this time in the destination allows us to perfect every detail of the vacation experience and offer our guests a one-of-a-kind, seamless and completely unforgettable vacation,” said Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, President and CEO, Celebrity Cruises. “We have taken our experience in this unique and untouched archipelago and combined it with an unparalleled experience on board, so that we offer the best ships, the best crews and certified naturalists, and the best all-inclusive packages. There is simply no better way to experience the incredible Galapagos Islands than with Celebrity.”

With its all-suites accommodations, the 100-guest Celebrity Flora will be one of the most energy-efficient ships of its size in the Galapagos Islands. The ship will offer seamless sea-to-shore transportation with the innovative new Novurania Yacht Tenders, and an industry-first Galapagos Glamping experience. Innovative outward-facing design gives guests 360-degree views of the islands, while personal suite attendants, new dining venues, an open-air stargazing platform, and expert-led ecological seminars take Galapagos vacations to new heights.

On Celebrity Flora, guests choose from a selection of 10-, 11-, and 16-night packages, which feature either pre- or post-cruise expeditions to bucket-list destinations and including one of two seven-night Inner or Outer Loop Itineraries, both sailing from Baltra, Ecuador.

Following its seven-day “revolutionary” revitalization in September 2018, Celebrity Xpedition debuted with an array of enhancements across the 100-guest mega-yacht, from redecorated staterooms, lounges, and restaurants that perfectly complement the natural beauty of this one-of-a-kind destination, to faster and more reliable Wi-Fi that allows guests to stay connected even as they disconnect.

Travelers looking to experience the gorgeous Galapagos Islands can do so with ease onboard Celebrity Xpedition, where they can choose from a selection of 10-, 11-, and 16-night packages, which feature either pre- or post-cruise expeditions to bucket-list destinations and including one of two seven-night Inner or Outer Loop Itineraries, both sailing from Baltra, Ecuador.

The best ship in the Galapagos will get even better in June 2019, when Celebrity Xpedition will debut enhanced suites services and amenities coinciding with the arrival of the new Celebrity Flora. Celebrity Xpedition suite guests will be geared up with marine binoculars to use on their cruise, as well as premium backpacks and rain ponchos that they can take back home with them. When unwinding in their suites on board, guests will enjoy stateroom attendants who can help with packing and unpacking, full in-suite dinner service, upgraded premium bathrobes, luxurious bath products from Ecuador, and more.

Princess Cruises Will Add MedallionNet to Six Ships in 2019
Princess Cruises today announced that MedallionNet, the best Wi-Fi at sea, will soon be enjoyed by guests sailing on more than half of its fleet.

To meet surging demand from guests, Princess will continue its swift expansion of MedallionNet to add the service on additional ships by the end of 2019. MedallionNet, offering fast, affordable, reliable and unlimited internet service, expands to Coral Princess and Island Princess in time for the Alaska season, Crown Princess and Emerald Princess for sailings during this summer to Europe and on Golden Princess and Sky Princess this fall. MedallionNet is currently available on Caribbean Princess, Regal Princess, Royal Princess and Ruby Princess.

"Guests and crew absolutely love MedallionNet. We're expanding it across the fleet as quickly as we can so that in the very near future anyone who sails with us will experience the best Wi-Fi at sea," said Jan Swartz, president of Princess Cruises. "While many sail with us to disconnect from their digital life, we realize that offering land-like connectivity from anywhere on the ship is something guests value so that they have the option to stream movies, music, sports or video chat and share their amazing vacation experience as much or as little as they'd like."

Princess MedallionClass Vacations Launch Dates for Royal, Crown and Sky Princess The cruise line also announced the formal launch dates for the Princess MedallionClass experience on its next three ships. The hassle-free and personalized voyages enabled by the OceanMedallionTM will launch on Royal Princess on April 13, followed by Crown Princess on July 24 and will be featured on Sky Princess beginning October 12, when the newest ship in the Princess fleet departs the shipyard as the first to be built from the ground up with the Ocean Guest Experience Platform.

Considered a breakthrough in the vacation industry and recently honored with a CES 2019 Innovation Award, the OceanMedallion is complimentary for all guests and features leading-edge technology that delivers personalized service through enhanced guest-crew interactions, eliminates friction points and enables interactive entertainment.

In addition to MedallionNet, Princess MedallionClass Vacations also offer guests a portfolio of experiences specifically designed to save precious time and enhance their cruise vacation, including:

• From curbside to poolside in a breeze: Guests who arrive at the terminal with travel documents (i.e. passports) uploaded to their profile have an expedited check-in process that starts their vacation sooner with ease. Personalization starts pre-cruise by guests becoming OceanReady before arriving at the port.

• On-demand beverage order and delivery: Using smart devices, guests have the ability to order drinks using OceanNow and have them delivered directly to them throughout the ship, including their stateroom.

• OceanCompass: Available on guests' smart devices and portals throughout the ships, OceanCompass leverages the OceanMedallion to easily locate and chat with friends and family on board using ShipMates, as well as enable point-to-point wayfinding throughout the ship. OceanCompass guides guests throughout their journey, providing directional information so they can seamlessly navigate to their next point of interest.

Other innovative features of the Princess MedallionClass experience include:

• Keyless Stateroom Entry: Access to staterooms is a seamless experience where each guest is securely validated as the door automatically unlocks. Personalized greetings including loyalty level recognition welcome the guest on their door portal.

• JourneyViewTM: Available now on ship portals and coming soon to smart devices, this interactive timeline lets guests scroll through all of the events available on board during their voyage. Functionality will also soon give guests the ability to bookmark and add activities that appeal most to them to their own personalized itinerary.

• MedallionPay: An easy to use payment feature, enabling crew members to focus on meaningful guest interactions.

• OceanCasino: On smart devices and select portals, guests can wager real money on games , including slots, poker, bingo, roulette, keno and lottery from anywhere on board.

• PlayOcean: On portals located shipwide and using smart devices, PlayOcean offers guests a new level of fun with interactive games, a digital scavenger hunt, customizable avatars, and more. PlayOcean also transforms guests' mobile devices into game controllers for interactive gaming on the massive Movies Under the Stars screen.

• OceanView: Guests can stream more than 100 hours of award-winning Ocean Original travel shows to their smart device anywhere on the ship at no cost – content which airs nationally on weekends on ABC and NBC. OceanView is also available on stateroom TVs as well as on Roku, Amazon Prime and Apple TV.

Urban Commons Shares Future Plans For Queen Mary Hotel In Long Beach
Urban Commons, a Los Angeles-based real estate investment and development firm and operator of the iconic Queen Mary Hotel, has announced the next phase for the historic Queen Mary ship docked in Long Beach, California. With the intent of continuing to further stabilize the structural integrity of the ship, Urban Commons will focus its development and revitalization plans on a few key areas aimed at improving the guest experience and maintaining the overall health of the ship. Since assuming the 66-year master lease in April 2016, Urban Commons has already successfully addressed numerous projects prioritizing fire and life safety issues and structural integrity.

"Restoring or even maintaining a historic vessel like the Queen Mary is not something that is accomplished overnight. We knew this would be a long road and that the end product would be something of great importance to the Long Beach community which is why we were eager to roll up our sleeves and get to work from day one," said Dan Zaharoni, Chief Development Officer of Urban Commons. "We are pleased to see how the renovations undertaken so far have benefited the ship and we look forward to continuing to improve the Queen Mary in 2019 and beyond. Our collective goal is to ensure that the Queen Mary's future is as illustrious as her glorious past."

Among the renovations and enhancements that have been completed over the past two years include structural improvements in the boiler room of the ship that allowed the popular Ghosts & Legends attraction to reopen, roofing and decking repairs to ensure longevity and safety, updating the ship's fire sprinkler system and painting the exterior hull of the ship and remediating rust. Enhancements to the visitor experience were also made including a new 4D theater, Ellis Island Experience and new Titanic and Winston Churchill exhibits as well as a multimillion-dollar renovation to the Carnival Cruise Terminal unveiled in February 2018.

"While many of the improvements are visible to the everyday visitor such as the new 4D Theater, most of our work and focus areas lie below deck and are not always visible to our patrons," said Adam Grandorff, Vice President of Construction for Urban Commons. "We understand that the community easily observes the cosmetic advancements that are made, but it's important that we always give proper attention and care to the heart and soul of the ship to continue to safeguard its future. We appreciate the public's excitement as we continue to make the Queen Mary the best version she can be."

Urban Commons has also vastly expanded the ship's entertainment offerings and family-friendly attractions. A newly formed partnership with leading music festival producer, Goldenvoice, will bring more than a dozen concerts to the Queen Mary in a calendar year while festive holiday events like "Queen Mary Christmas: Where Holidays Set Sail" bring the festivities of the holidays, including an all-new ice-skating experience onboard the ship for locals and tourists alike.

The 65 acres of waterfront land surrounding the ship earmarked for the all-inclusive entertainment destination known as Queen Mary Island is currently in the conceptual approval phase and Urban Commons is working collaboratively with the City of Long Beach to finalize plans that will allow the highly anticipated development to come to life.

Norwegian Cruise Line Reveals Footloose as Headline of Entertainment Lineup on Norwegian Joy
Norwegian Cruise Line today announced that the Tony Award-nominated musical Footloose along with the classic aerial acrobatics show, Elements, and the wine-tasting comedy, Wine Lovers: The Musical, will be featured on Norwegian Joy, the 15th ship in its fleet which will begin sailing to Alaska this May.

Debuting for the first time at sea, Footloose, based on the wildly popular movie, follows the story of a Chicago teen with a love of dancing, who moves to small town with a ban on Rock n’ Roll. Although he finds himself at odds with most of the town, including the influential local reverend, he and his friends eventually convince local leaders to lift the ban and allow the town to heal from a tragedy that affected them all. Featuring the hit music of Grammy Award-winning artist, Kenny Loggins, Footloose celebrates warm and open minds.

“We are very excited to showcase Footloose, a feel-good, positive show that encourages people to embrace new ideas, stand up for what they believe in and dance their hearts out,” said Norwegian Cruise Line President and CEO Andy Stuart. “We’re certain it will have guests ‘kicking off their Sunday shoes’ as they enjoy their cruise vacation aboard Norwegian Joy as she makes her debut in Alaska in May 2019.”

Sharing the main stage with this revamped 80s classic will be the aerial acrobatics show, Elements. This Norwegian Cruise Line favorite revels in the four elements of Earth, Air, Water, and Fire and features mesmerizing magic, high-flying feats and exciting music and dance.

As part of Norwegian’s specialty dining performances, Wine Lovers: The Musical, known as the world’s first wine tasting musical production, provides guests the opportunity to taste a variety of wines at a lunch club-style experience while enjoying a hilarious musical comedy about the joys of wine and love. The show will be performed at the Social Comedy and Night Club with wine served to guests 21 and older.

Norwegian Joy is set to reposition to North America in late April following an over $50 million renovation that will make her nearly identical to sister ship, Norwegian Bliss, with an extended go-kart race track and new dining and bar concepts. Her first seven-day, round-trip Alaska sailing from Seattle, Washington will be on May 4, 2019, and she will call to both Glacier Bay and Icy Strait Point during her inaugural season. Norwegian Joy continues with Panama Canal sailings in October before offering weekly sailings to the Mexican Riviera from Los Angeles in November.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 58.57 + 2.31%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 120.56 + 2.20%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 1.21 - 1.63%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 55.94 + 5.49%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Which soon-to-be infamous figure departed Rotterdam for New York on June 4, 1962 on board Holland America's Maasdam?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Which famous (former?) show business duo first met on board the German Ocean Liner Berlin in 1959 after one of the two tried to smuggle an exotic pet on board?

Answer - The famous show business duo that first met on board the German Ocean Liner Berlin in 1959 were Siegfried & Roy
courtesy of John Declan, Richmond, Va


VACATION & CRUISE SPECIALS
Check out these great deals from CruisePage.com

Royal Caribbean - Bahamas Getaway from $129 per person
Description: Experience the beautiful ports of Nassau and Royal Caribbean's private island - CocoCay on a 3-night Weekend Getaway to the Bahamas. Absorb everything island life has to offer as you snorkel with the stingrays, parasail above the serene blue waters and walk the endless white sand beaches. From Miami.
Carnival - 4-Day Bahamas  from $229 per person
Description: Enjoy a wonderful 3 Day cruise to the fun-loving playground of Nassau, Bahamas. Discover Nassau, the capital city as well as the cultural, commercial and financial heart of the Bahamas. Meet the Atlantic Southern Stingrays, the guardians of Blackbeard's treasure.
NCL - Bermuda - 7 Day from $499 per person
Description: What a charming little chain of islands. Walk on pink sand beaches. Swim and snorkel in turquoise seas. Take in the historical sights. They're stoically British and very quaint. Or explore the coral reefs. You can get to them by boat or propelled by fins. You pick. Freestyle Cruising doesn't tell you where to go or what to do. Sure, you can plan ahead, or decide once onboard. After all, it's your vacation. There are no deadlines or must do's.
Holland America - Eastern Caribbean from From $599 per person
Description: White sand, black sand, talcum soft or shell strewn, the beaches of the Eastern Caribbean invite you to swim, snorkel or simply relax. For shoppers, there's duty-free St. Thomas, the Straw Market in Nassau, French perfume and Dutch chocolates on St. Maarten. For history buffs, the fascinating fusion of Caribbean, Latin and European cultures. For everyone, a day spent on HAL's award winning private island Half Moon Cay.
Celebrity - 7-Night Western Mediterranean  from $549 per person
Description: For centuries people have traveled to Europe to see magnificent ruins, art treasures and natural wonders. And the best way to do so is by cruise ship. Think of it - you pack and unpack only once. No wasted time searching for hotels and negotiating train stations. Instead, you arrive at romantic ports of call relaxed, refreshed and ready to take on the world.
Holland America - Alaska from From $499 per person
Description: Sail between Vancouver and Seward, departing Sundays on the ms Statendam or ms Volendam and enjoy towering mountains, actively calving glaciers and pristine wildlife habitat. Glacier Bay and College Fjord offer two completely different glacier-viewing experiences.
|  Home  |  About Us  |  Suggest-a-Site  |  Feedback  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy  | 
This page, and all contents, are © 1995-2006 by Interactive Travel Guides, Inc. and/or its suppliers. All rights reserved.
TravelPage.com is a trademark of Interactive Travel Guides, Inc.
Powered by TravelServer Software